Welcome to Blue Jays Wild Card Watch, a regular look at how Toronto is faring in relation to its playoff rivals. Here we'll provide an update on the standings, recap what each team did in its most recent outing and look ahead to its next matchup.
The Toronto Blue Jays enter their weekend series against the Boston Red Sox at the low point of their season.
The Texas Rangers rolled into Rogers Centre on Monday and completely outclassed the Blue Jays, outscoring them 35-9 over a four-game sweep. It was the first time in franchise history that Toronto has been swept in a four-game home series in September, per Sportsnet Stats. The minus-26 run differential also marked a new franchise record for a four-game set.
With the four consecutive defeats, Toronto fell from the American League's second wild-card spot to out of a playoff position altogether.
Luckily for the Blue Jays, the 2023 season doesn't end on Sept. 15, and the club still has some time to salvage what has been an incredibly frustrating campaign. It won't be an easy path — the Jays own 33.6% odds to make the postseason, per FanGraphs — but there are still 15 games remaining on the schedule.
Getting back on track will have to begin Friday against the Boston Red Sox, who head to Toronto with a 3-7 record over their past 10 games. Jose Berrios (10-10, 3.63 ERA) gets the start for the Blue Jays, while the Red Sox counter with Brayan Bello (12-8, 3.68 ERA).
Where to watch Blue Jays-Red Sox series
If you’re wondering how to watch the Blue Jays aim to salvage their 2023 playoff run, you have the following options:
What time is the Blue Jays-Red Sox game?
Friday at 7:07 p.m. ET
Saturday at 3:07 p.m. ET
Sunday at 1:37 p.m. ET
Here's a look at the overall AL standings entering Friday's action and a quick zip around the wild-card picture:
Previous series result: The Astros sit atop the AL West but haven't been able to put any distance between themselves and the Rangers and Seattle Mariners. Houston did itself no favours this week, dropping two of three to the lowly Oakland Athletics at home.
What's next: The Astros' soft schedule continues as they head out on the road for three games against the Kansas City Royals. Cristian Javier (9-3, 4.78 ERA) gets the ball in the opener against Royals veteran Zack Greinke, who has just one win on the season (1-15, 5.47 ERA)
Previous series result: The Rangers demolished the Blue Jays over four games and have won six in a row. Texas did lose Max Scherzer to a season-ending injury, but saw its playoff odds skyrocket this week.
What's next: Texas will look to keep the good times rolling in a road series against the Cleveland Guardians. The Rangers send Jon Gray (8-7, 3.96 ERA) to the mound against Lucas Giolito (7-13, 4.89 ERA), who is playing for his third team this season.
Previous series result: The Mariners shook off a recent four-game losing streak by taking the final two games of a series against the Los Angeles Angels. Thursday served as an off day following a stretch of 13 games in 13 days.
What's next: Julio Rodriguez and Co. continue their push toward the playoffs by hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. George Kirby (10-9, 3.48 ERA) gets the nod for Seattle on Friday against right-hander Bobby Miller (9-3, 3.98 ERA).