The Toronto Blue Jays could clinch a playoff spot for the second straight season as soon as today.
But they will need a little help from the Seattle Mariners if they don’t want their playoff fate hanging in the air heading into the final day of the MLB season.
The Blue Jays (89-71) currently hold the second wild card spot but are only two games up on the Seattle Mariners (87-73), who would finish out of the playoffs if the season ended today.
Here is a look at Toronto’s path to the playoffs:
MAGIC NUMBER: ONE
Entering Saturday afternoon's game, the Blue Jays were a win away from booking their spot in the playoffs. A victory against Tampa Bay Rays would have sent the Blue Jays to the postseason for the second consecutive time. However, Toronto failed to win the game, losing 7-4 in extra innings. They can still clinch today if the Seattle Mariners lose tonight against the Texas Rangers.
ODDS FAVOUR THE BLUE JAYS
The Blue Jays may have their work cut out for them as they finish their season with a three-game series against the 97-win Rays, however Tampa Bay may have less to play for after the Baltimore Orioles clinched the AL East title on Thursday. According to the latest projections from FanGraphs, the Blue Jays have a 95.2 per cent chance of advancing to the playoffs and a 5.6 per cent chance of winning the World Series. Those World Series odds may not sound encouraging but only seven teams in baseball have a better chance at winning it all, according to FanGraphs.
WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT?
If the Jays hold on to the second wild card spot – they are currently one game up on the Astros (and hold the tiebreaker over them) – they will travel to Tampa to take on the Rays in a best-of-three series that would start Tuesday. Should the Astros take possession of the second wild card spot, the Jays would travel to Minnesota for a series with the AL Central-winning Twins. The bad news, at least for Jays fans, is that the club will need to advance to the divisional round in order for playoff baseball to come to the Rogers Centre, as all wild card round games are hosted by the higher-seeded team.