Every year, teams underachieve. It's the natural way of things. And every year, specific teams are way better than any of us expected them to be. But every year, you also have one or two objectively good teams that you wait for the breakout. You wait for that ten-game winning streak because you know it exists—the Toronto Blue Jays with that team in 2023. If you handed a GM the Toronto Blue Jays roster on paper, they would salivate at how talented it is. And they'd be correct.
The powers in Toronto have done a great job loading up with a great core of good, young players. And the rotation is pretty damn good too. But they are a team filled with players who should be better. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should not have an OPS in the .700s. Kevin Gausman should not have an ERA over three. Are those guys the least of this team's problems? Maybe, but it's indicative of a more significant issue. Every week we do our power rankings on Barstool Baseball, and the Blue Jays are usually in that 6 to 9 range. Hubbs pointed out that this was a huge week for them. They had a four-game set against the Orioles and three games against the Red Sox. At best, they're going to go 4-3. As much as I love this year's Orioles, they should not be better than the Blue Jays.
There's a reason the Blue Jays did little of the deadline because their most prominent opponent is themselves. Whenever I think they're about to take off, they stay neutral. A big reason is that they suck against teams in their division. They have an 8-23 record against the AL East this year. The AL East has been the best division in baseball this season, but 8-23? I understand they've had some things go sideways. Nobody expected the Alek Manoah would be sent down to the minors at any point this year, but you're not playing the Atlanta Braves every night.
The most frustrating part about the Toronto Blue Jays is that I wish they were bad enough for me to give up on them. They tend to play spineless baseball, but I could also see them being this year's Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies were a wildly inconsistent ball club last year with many flaws. All those flaws disappeared in the first few rounds of the postseason because everyone in their lineup got hot, they finally reached their full potential, and they started mashing homers.
I could see that happening for the Blue Jays this season. If they sneak into the postseason as the six seed, they're probably going to shit pump the Minnesota Twins, get a nice little run going, and if they get hot just for a few games, they could become the team nobody wants to play in October. It just goes to show what a crapshoot the postseason can be. I've watched this team this season. I don't think they have it. There is an aura that great teams give off that they don't give off, but who gives a shit? If they get into October, none of that is going to matter. They are far away baseballs greatest boom-or-bust team. They frustrate the hell out of me, but I can't count them out. I wish I knew how to quit them.