TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays’ postseason fate will be decided this week.
Beginning Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays will host the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Blue Jays are in second place in the American League’s three wild card spots.
How Toronto fares against the Yankees and Rays will help determine whether the Blue Jays finish second or third in the wild card race.
Three teams in the American League West will also have some control over the wild card situation, with the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners also in the playoff hunt.
The Texas Rangers are atop the West Division standings heading into Monday’s game, with the Houston Astros holding the third wild card spot and the Mariners a half-game behind the Astros.
Seattle hosts Houston in the first game of a three-game series on Monday night. The outcome of this series, combined with the Blue Jays’ losing streak at Rogers Centre, could push Toronto into the third wild card spot.
It’s worth noting that the Blue Jays are 19-27 within the division, meaning that if they finished the regular season with the same record as the Mariners (29-16 against American League West opponents), Toronto would be out of the race.
However, it’s highly unlikely that the Blue Jays will fall all the way out of a playoff spot.
Baseball analytics site FanGraphs.com on Monday projected Toronto’s chances of clinching a wild-card spot at 97.7 percent, and Baseball Reference.com put the Blue Jays’ chances of making the postseason at 97.9 percent.
Ace Kevin Gausman (12-for-9) will start when Toronto hosts the Yankees on Tuesday night. New York will send Michael King (4-for-7) to the mound.
The Yankees (79-77) are six games out of the third wild-card spot in the American League.
Tampa Bay has clinched a playoff spot, occupying the American League’s first wild-card spot, but could swap places with the East-leading Baltimore Orioles this week.
The Rangers open a three-game series with the Angels in Los Angeles on Monday. The Rays begin a two-game set in Boston on Tuesday.