The Blue Jays are back home for their final homestand of the season and all signs point to Toronto playing baseball beyond the end of the regular season on Oct. 1.
Toronto will host the next six consecutive games, starting with the now-eliminated New York Yankees on Tuesday, before closing out their season with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The odds of the Jays clinching a wild card spot look good at 97.7 per cent, according to baseball analytics website FanGraphs.com.
But how exactly the team may make its way to the post-season is a little more complicated.
According to conventional baseball math, Toronto’s magic number against the Seattle Mariners, who are currently outside of the wild card race at three games behind the Jays, is four. This means that any combination of Blue Jays wins and Mariners losses that adds up to four will see Toronto advance, which could happen as early as Wednesday night.
However, because the Mariners are currently playing the Houston Astros – who remain 1.5 games behind the Jays – Toronto only needs to win three more games to reach the playoffs regardless of what happens outside of the city.
Pitcher Kevin Gausman is 12-9 for the season and will start for Toronto against New York’s 4-7 Michael King.
If the Jays can clinch a wild-card spot, the results of their series against the Yankees and Rays will determine if they finish second or third in the wild-care race.
Tampa Bay landed a post-season berth last week and holds the AL's first wild-card spot, but could switch places with the East-leading Baltimore Orioles this week.
Your fave team returns TODAY! pic.twitter.com/FFKINDwXBV
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 26, 2023
LAST LOONIE DOG NIGHT OF THE SEASON