Everything you need to know about the Jays playoffs with 7 games left

It’s time for the Blue Jays to spray their own playoff champagne.

After watching the Yankees’ celebrations at Rogers Center when they won the American League East Division on Tuesday night, the Jays have a chance — make it a golden opportunity — to throw their own party tonight.

That can happen with a win in the final game of their three-game series with the Yankees and a loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

A postseason berth seems inevitable, but the Jays must keep winning with seven games left in the season to clinch crucial home-court advantage in the wild-card round.

As manager John Schneider said after Tuesday’s loss: « every game counts, every set counts… »

Meanwhile, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is stalled in his quest to hit his 61st homer, which would tie Roger Maris’ AL record set in 1961. Jays pitchers walked him four times Tuesday night.

Maris’ family is in town, in case the judge hits his home run. And outfield fans are hoping to catch that game-winning home run.

But will Judge play or rest after the Tuesday night celebrations? We should find out later this afternoon when the lineups are announced. Judge hit his last home run more than a week ago on Sept. 20.

Here’s a look at what’s at stake for Toronto with seven games left in the season, starting with Wednesday’s series finale against the Yankees:

Q: What is Toronto’s magic number for a playoff berth?

A: Two. Despite their loss to New York, the magic number fell to two for the Jays.

The Red Sox did the Jays a favor on Tuesday, beating Baltimore 13-9 in a wild, high-scoring game.

Toronto can clinch a playoff berth tonight if they beat the Yankees, and the Red Sox beat Baltimore again.

Essentially, the Jays need two more wins in their last seven games to clinch that spot.

Q. When do playoff tickets go on sale to the general public?

Currently, single game tickets for the Wildcard and Division Series went on sale today at 10 a.m. Refunds will be available if the wildcard series does not end in Toronto.

Q: How can the Jays land home-field advantage for wildcard?

A: Toronto must finish with the best record among the three wild card teams.

The 87-68 Jays saw their lead over the Tampa Bay Rays (85-69) shrink from 2.5 games to 1.5 games. Toronto’s loss to the Yankees, coupled with Tampa’s 11-inning win over Cleveland, did the damage.

The struggling Seattle Mariners (83-70) sit in third and last place after losing to the Rangers 5-0, but are now 1.5 games behind Tampa.

The declining Baltimore Orioles (80-74) are still alive but are 3.5 games behind Seattle.

Home-court advantage is crucial for the Jays, or any other wildcard series team – all three wildcard series games will be played at the home field of the team with the better record. (As AL Central Division winners, Cleveland clinched home ground.) Tampa holds the tiebreaker against Toronto.

As division winners, the Yankees, Guardians and Houston Astros clinched a playoff berth in the AL.

Q: What is the remaining program?

A: Toronto has four more games at home – one against New York tonight, followed by three more against Boston – and then a three-game road trip at the end of the regular season in Baltimore. The Jays are out Thursday.

Tampa ends the season with games against the Guardians (2), Astros (3) and Red Sox (3).

Seattle has, on paper, the easiest schedule left, finishing with Texas (2), Oakland (3) and Detroit (3).

Q: If the Jays had to choose between the Rays, Mariners or Guardians, who would they want to play?

A: There is no easy answer.

  • Toronto is 4-5 at Tropicana Field this season. The Jays are 5-5 against Tampa at home this season; overall, they played Tampa stronger than in past seasons.
  • Cleveland has been tough on the Jays, beating Toronto three times in a four-game series at Cleveland and beating the Jays twice in a three-game series at Rogers Center.
  • Seattle swept Toronto in four games in Seattle, but lost two of three in Toronto.

Based on these results, Toronto appears to be struggling as a visitor to any of these three cities, so there is an urgent need to secure home-field advantage.


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