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The Blue Jays Just Ruined Their Playoff Odds

The Toronto Blue Jays are down bad. Like bad, bad.

The club entered a four-game series at home vs the Rangers with everything going right. The Jays were on a win streak. The lineup was finally crushing baseballs again. The race for that third AL wild-card spot seemed Toronto's to lose. And the Blue Jays didn't even need to win or sweep the four-gamer vs Texas — a lousy split would do.

Of course, none of that positivity prevailed. For the first time in franchise history, the Blue Jays suffered a four-game sweep at home, with the Rangers outscoring Toronto 35-9. The Blue Jays' -26 run differential was the worst all-time for a single series.

The home fans turned on their club, heckling players and managers by the end of the series. But the boo-birds don't tell the whole story of Toronto's collapse — the odds do. 

MLB Playoff Odds Movement

Toronto entered this matchup as a -145 favorite to win the series. 

Blue Jays Playoff Odds: Before & After

Blue Jays Playoff Odds
DatePlayoff OddsPlayoff Percentage
Before Texas Series-450 (Y) / +325 (N)79.5%
After Texas Series+160 (Y) / -200 (N)34.2%

Percentage per Fangraphs

It's truly stunning. Bless your heart if you faded the Blue Jays before this series because +325 is looking mighty sweet right about now. 

Texas Rangers Playoff Odds: Before & After

Rangers Playoff Odds
DatePlayoff OddsPlayoff Percentage
Before Blue Jays Series-130 (Y) / +100 (N)51.5%
After Blue Jays Series-900 (Y) / +550 (N)88.0%

Percentage per Fangraphs

How about that? Texas jumped all the way to -900 in the odds to make MLB playoffs — one final parting gift from the Blue Jays.

What Went Wrong With The Blue Jays?

This series offered a more exaggerated explanation for everything that's gone wrong this season.

Weak Offense Puts Strain On Pitching Staff

The Blue Jays have one of the best pitching staffs they've had in years. One through five in the rotation are dialed in, and the bullpen is deadly, too. But in the AL East, it's quite hard to pitch your way to victory — and it's even harder in a four-game series vs an offensive juggernaut like Texas.

You can't score nine runs in four games and expect to win diddly. For whatever reason, Toronto's bats have looked overmatched all season. Good hitting is contagious, the same way bad hitting is, and we haven't seen a sustained surge from this Blue Jays' lineup all season, really. The Blue Jays are 20-25 when they don't homer this season, but even a few homers could've save them vs the Rangers.

And when you're not delivering run support, it's tough on the pitchers. And the Blue Jays starters cracked during this series. Hyun Jin Ryu tossed a quality start, but every other pitcher (Chris Bassitt, Yusei Kikuchi, Kevin Gausman) allowed at least four earned runs.

Star Players Took A Series Off

When Davis Schneider (3-for-16) slows down, then you know the Blue Jays are sunk, but it wasn't just "Babe" who stumbled. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette combined to go 4-for-31, with Vladdy's big two-run blast — the club's entire offense Thursday — representing the only real impact hit. 

Blue Jays Can't Beat Good Teams

This is essentially what it boils down to: the Blue Jays crush the bad teams, but stand no chance against talented ones. Toronto is 39-17 vs losing clubs and 41-50 vs winning squads. The Jays are also 38-34 at home (not good) and 12-25 vs AL East opponents (even worse). When the eulogy for this season is written, these will be the most damning statistics.