Jays From the Couch provides a quick rundown of the Toronto Blue Jays first month of the 2018 season
As the newest Staff Writer for Jays from the Couch, my goal is to provide some unique articles with a personal take and hopefully an unbiased opinion from a true lifetime Jays fan…sounding like I won it on a gameshow or something. To start off the season I plan to put out small articles with my prognosis on the upcoming month of the season. I will look at strength of schedule; player health; and road vs. home games.
Outlook for March and April’s Schedule…
If Spring Training is used as any indication to how the season is going to run out, we might be in for a long one. Luckily, the games mean nothing and the stars are only in for a couple innings and never for complete games as an “A” team unit to try and actually win. That being said, if you win every game or lose every game in Spring Training, that may have some effect on the mentality of the team going into the season. Also, if you look at the Grapefruit League standings, 4 of the top 5 teams are Houston, Boston, Cleveland and New York; in the Cactus League you have Milwaukee, San Diego, the Cubs and the Cards with a team like the Dodgers set to finish 6th (behind the Miami Marlins, um ya!)
To start the season against the high powered offense of the New York Yankees could prove tough. They have a 4 game set to start off, and then another 4 towards the end of the Month. Add in series against Cleveland starting on the 13th; Boston, on the 24th; and 6 total games against Texas it could prove to be a tough month. Tough enough, where we may not get to judge the 2018 Blue Jays potential until May when things get quite a lot easier. The good thing about this schedule is, that the first 7 games are at home to New York and the White Sox. To follow, they go on the road for a 9 game stretch to Texas, Baltimore and Cleveland. To finish the month they are mostly at home with a short 4 game trip to the Bronx starting on the 19th.
If they can manage to come out of April with a .500 record, I would have to say things are looking good. If they come out above .500 with a split against New York, Boston and Cleveland then things are going to be great and I, personally, will be very excited for the rest of the season. That being said, if we go out and let the Yankees and Cleveland have their way with us, things could get ugly really quick. We have to be competitive, and treat it like Spring Training so to speak, but that the games count. We can work on our chemistry during this time. There are a lot of new pieces to this lineup and although Spring Training may take care of a lot of that…the regular season is what draws players together.
It is easy to bond when the games don’t count and you are in Florida every day. But it is a different story when someone boots a ground ball to lose a game or, positively speaking, jack a homerun to win one. It will be very easy to lose focus when the Yankees high powered offence is constantly beating on you, but that is also where tough teams bond together and find a way to win. They may not be able to get into slugging matches with New York, Cleveland, Houston or Boston but if you look at past World Series winners like Kansas City…that may not be needed. Solid hitting, sound pitching and a refined defence may be all we need to get the job done. So happy to see this season get started. Play Ball!
March/April Record Outlook: 13-13
Check back soon for the May’s Outlook and March/April Recap…BW
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