Jays From the Couch sets some Over/Unders for the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2018 season
The Toronto Blue Jays are about to begin the 2018 season! We’re a week away from the moment we have been waiting months for. In the next week or so you’ll be inundated with some predictions, some “stories to watch” and if you’re really lucky some “X Factor” posts. I mean, the season is starting, so there is excitement to engage those eyeballs.
Here at Jays From the Couch, we like to do something a little different. Today, we present the Overs and Unders for the 2018 season. I’ll list some statistics, events or general expectations for the season and you take the Over or the Under. Admittedly, some of these will be all in good fun. And, if I leave something out, I encourage you to add yours in the comment section. I will definitely chime in. So, let’s get to it!
Number of Walks for Kevin Pillar
OK, you knew this one was coming. But, I wouldn’t be doing this whole exercise justice if I didn’t include it. Over the last 3 seasons, Pillar has accumulated 28, 24 and an eye popping 33 respectively. He ballooned his walk rate to 5.2%. Before I try and convince you that there is reason to believe this will change any time soon, let’s just acknowledge that Pillar is what he is. He is what some would call a “free swinger”. And, fair enough. The goal is to hit the ball. Can’t do that by watching them fly by you…
Over/Under: 30 BB
Number of Times Josh Donaldson Goes Oppo Taco
According to Baseball Savant, Donaldson hit 9 of his 33 home runs to opposite field in 2017. I seem to recall a television broadcast where they mentioned the Bringer of Rain has called himself the best opposite field home run hitter on the team. If that claim is true (that is to say I didn’t dream it) he might want to take a shot at the right field porch in Yankee Stadium. He visits there frequently this year.
Over/Under JD Oppo Taco: 7
Number of Ejections for John Gibbons
MLB umpiring was definitely something that drove people crazy last season. By my count, Gibby was the recipient of 5 ejections in 2017. That seems a little on the light side for him. If things start to go sideways for the Blue Jays in 2018 and frustration starts to take hold, we know that Gibby is not above getting himself tossed, heading to his office and partaking in a glass of wine, all designed to get his team fired up.
Over/Under Gibby Ejections: 6
Games Played for Troy Tulowitzki
I hate picking on Tulo for being hurt. That said, it’s not like we can pretend he hasn’t been. We also can’t ignore the amount of money Toronto is paying him. Those things combined make a certain segment rather hostile whenever Tulowitzki is brought up in conversation. When he is in the lineup, he is arguably the team’s best defender at shortstop. And, when he is in the lineup (and ‘right’) he can be a productive hitter. So, the real hope is that he can do that. However, recent history is not on his side. He has totaled 197 games played. Over two seasons, that works out to 98.5 games per season, or if you want to look at it the other way, he’s missed roughly 64 games per season thanks to various injuries.
Over/Under Tulo Games: 81
Kendrys Morales Strikeouts
2017 saw the Blue Jays’ DH pick up the most strikeouts of his career. While he whiffed a lot in his previous two seasons in Kansas City (103 & 120 times), he managed to top those showings with 132 in his first of three seasons in a Blue Jays uniform. And, if you’ve been paying any attention to Morales at bats, if he has two strikes on him, you can bet he’s getting the bender. So far this spring, in what little opportunity we’ve had to watch him, it seems things haven’t changed in that regard. Get ready!
Over/Under Momo Whiffs: 120
Blown Saves for Roberto Osuna
I don’t like to be the annoying negative guy who focuses on poor performances. But, in 2017 Osuna blew an unbelievable 10 games for Toronto. Those are games that could have been wins. Again, this is not to criticize the kid. And, let’s remember that he is just 23 years old. Already in his young career, he has amassed 95 saves. I added this category to the list because I believe that what we saw in 2017 is not the real Roberto Osuna. At this point, I am ready to toss it out as a one off anomoly. I mean, he still saved a career high 39 games.
Over/Under BS: 5
Number of Starts for Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada and Jaime Garcia
It is not exactly an insightful Hot Take to suggest that the success of the starting rotation. More specifically, the health of the rotation is paramount. Avoiding a multitude of starts going to the likes of Mat Latos and all of the other “fill ins” of 2017 will go a long way to helping this team compete this season. Early in the spring, we saw Stroman dealing with a shoulder issue, which he seems to have recovered from. We know Estrada’s back can be wonky. And, the real Achilles he..uh, finger last year was the blister that took Sanchez’ season away. A full year of Sanchez could likely mean very good things.
Over/Under total starts: 110
Number of Bombs for Randal Grichuk
The book on newcomer Grichuk is that he has great power potential, but will strike out a lot. We’ll ignore that the Blue Jays traded with St Louis for a young power hitting outfielder who strikes out a lot already and it didn’t really pay off. Coming into the AL East and working on pitch recognition over the winter very well could led to some exciting results for Girchuk!
Over/Under Grichuk bombs: 25
Number of Toronto Blue Jays All Stars
Sure, some places are expecting the Blue Jays to fight for just the second Wild Card spot. There aren’t much higher expectations for them than that. With the Yankees and Red Sox looking like they’ll fight for the division title, it would appear that many feel Toronto has a chance to make the playoffs, but not by much. They’ll need a lot to go right for them in the health department. And, some really big seasons from a few key players couldn’t hurt either. The Blue Jays have a good roster with potential to do some damage. I’m feeling particularly optimistic about the coming season. While the All Star hoopla really just boils down to a popularity contest, it is also a recognition of stand out performances. The Blue Jays have several players who could fit the bill.
Over/Under Number of All Stars: 5
I’ll throw this out there that I think there is an outside shot for there to be 6 (SIX) All Stars from Toronto. I know, I know… Anyway, here they are: Donaldson, Sanchez, Stroman, Osuna, Grichuk and Devon Travis. That’s right, I went there!
*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC
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