Toronto Blue Jays return to the playoffs

Posted By Erik Buchinger on September 25, 2020

For the first time since 2016, the Toronto Blue Jays will be a part of the MLB Playoffs. Toronto officially clinched its spot on Thursday, Sept. 24 in a 4-1 home victory over the New York Yankees. In a bit of a strange season for Toronto, it’s been playing its home games in Buffalo, New York due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Blue Jays were able to rally together and will be involved in the postseason once again.

Hyun Jin Ryu put together an impressive 2020 regular season in his first with the Blue Jays and he earned the victory in the game that guaranteed a spot for Toronto in the playoffs. He threw seven shutout innings for the Blue Jays and allowed five hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Ryu earned the win to put his record at 5-2 this season. Toronto finished 9-3 in games he pitched in this season.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. started off the scoring for Toronto with a solo home run in the second inning to put the Blue Jays ahead. He finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and one run batted in.

The Blue Jays added another run in the third inning on an RBI-double for Bo Bichette to score Cavan Biggio. Toronto increased its lead to 4-0 in the sixth when Alejandro Kirk drove in a pair of runs, scoring Guerrero and Randal Grichuk on a double.

The Yankees got on the board in the top of the eighth inning with a run-scoring infield single with the bases loaded from Gio Urshela. Rafael Dolis came in for a four-out save for the Blue Jays to secure the win and his fifth save of the season.

Jordan Montgomery picked up the loss for the Yankees to drop to 2-3 this year. He threw 5.1 innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits and zero walks. He struck out eight batters in the loss.

After going through a bit of a slump earlier this month in which Toronto battled through a six-game losing streak, the Blue Jays have now won four of their last five games and took three of four in the series against the Yankees.

Toronto now stands with a 30-27 overall record, two games behind the Yankees for second place in the American League East with three games to play.

In the Blue Jays’ last appearance in the postseason in 2016, they advanced through the wild card and divisional rounds before losing four games to one in the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians.

What’s next?

The Blue Jays will close out the 2020 regular season in a three-game series in Buffalo against the Baltimore Orioles, which is coming in with a record of 24-33. It will be interesting to see how this game plays out with neither team having a ton to play for as the regular season wraps up.

Baltimore has been eliminated from playoff contention, while Toronto is likely to appear in the playoffs as a wild card team, though it’s possible the Blue Jays could catch the Yankees for second place in the division by Sunday’s regular season end date.

The two teams played each other seven times in 2020, and Toronto leads the series 6-1 heading into the weekend’s games.

Betting trends

Below are some trends to consider for more of a preview of the series.

  • Baltimore is 4-12 straight up in its last 16 games.
  • Baltimore is 1-8 straight up in its last nine road games.
  • The run total went over in nine of Toronto’s last 12 games.
  • The run total went over in five of Toronto’s last six home games.

All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.

Run Line

  • Baltimore Orioles +1.5 (-125)
  • Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+105)

Run Total

  • Over 9.5 (-114)
  • Under 9.5 (-107)

Moneyline

  • Baltimore Orioles +160
  • Toronto Blue Jays -195
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