The Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of a playoff push and if they want to sneak into the playoffs, they’re going to need to play nearly perfect baseball for the next few weeks.
Their lineup has been a strong part of their team and certain players have exceeded all expectations for them this season.
However, there have been some players who have disappointed and who have fallen well short of preseason expectations. Let’s get into the best and worst performers of Toronto’s playoff push.
The Blue Jays are -200 to make the playoffs and +1100 to win the American League.
The leader of the offense this season has been Bo Bichette. The shortstop’s average has never been below .300 this year.
He was incredible in the first half of the season with a .317 average and an OPS near .900, but he suffered a knee injury in late July that would keep him out of action for a few weeks.
It appears his knee might still be bothering him since he doesn’t seem to have as much pop in the bat anymore, but his below-average strikeout rate has been key to his success.
Bichette ranks in the 90th percentile or above in xBA and sweet spot rate, which means when he hits it, he usually hits it well.
His success has played a crucial role in Toronto’s season, and if the Blue Jays want to leapfrog the Mariners in the AL Wild Card race, Bichette will need to be at his very best like he has all season.
Matt Chapman was the hottest hitter in baseball in the first month of the season. After Toronto’s game on April 30, Chapman was hitting .384 with a .465 on-base percentage and a stunning 1.152 OPS.
He was hitting behind Bo Bichette, George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and it seemed whenever they got on, Chapman drove them in. However, the season is several months long, and it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
Chapman flamed out after his hot month of April since he hit .202 in May, .200 in June, .247 in July and .197 in August. He’s been a disappointment after his stellar start to the season.
For the last few months, the Blue Jays have been relying on Bichette and Guerrero Jr. for the majority of their run production since Chapman hasn’t been able to break out of his slump.
Of the entire Blue Jays team, Chapman has been the worst performer for the last several months.
One of the best pitchers in all of baseball also happens to be the ace of the Blue Jays. Kevin Gausman has had a career season thus far with an ERA a little over 3 and his highest strikeout rate since the shortened 2020 season.
His nasty fastball and splitter combination has been one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball and has been the primary reason for his sky-high strikeout rate, but perhaps one of his greatest qualities has been his durability.
Gausman has made 29 starts this season and continues to be as consistent as he was in April.
Whenever he’s on the mound, the Blue Jays are almost always favoured and with just a few weeks remaining in the season, Gausman has only a few starts left to help carry the Blue Jays into the playoffs.