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Are the Toronto Blue Jays contender or pretenders in the battle for the 2022 World Series Title?

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

As the 2022 MLB season winds down, where do the Toronto Blue Jays stand? They are currently 68-55 and sit in third place in the AL East. They are one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays and nine games behind the New York Yankees. Toronto currently holds an American League Wild Card spot with the expanded playoffs this year.

But this begs the question, are the Blue Jays serious World Series contenders this year? Given how the Blue Jays missed the playoffs last year, many around the league believe this team has learned from it and is better now.

How far can the Toronto Blue Jays go this season?

Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays won 91 games and still managed to miss the playoffs. This year, MLB added an additional 2 playoff spots, expanding it to twelve teams to make the postseason. Three division winners from the AL, three division winners from the NL, three wild card teams from the NL, and three from the AL.

Playoff chances for AL teams, per Fangraphs:Astros 100%Yankees 99.9%Mariners 91.1%Blue Jays 88.1%Rays 62.2%Guardians 51.8%Twins 49.9%White Sox 43.3%Red Sox 10.6%Orioles 2.7%Tigers, Royals, Angels, Rangers, Athletics 0.0%fangraphs.com/standings/play…

The extra wild card spot is really helpful for a team that shares the division with the Rays, Yankees, and surprisingly tough Baltimore Orioles. If Toronto were in the AL Central, they would be first in the division instead of third in the AL East.

While battling in the AL East, Toronto is led by their young All-Star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Coming off of an MVP-like season last year, Vlad has slowed his pace this season. He's batting .284 for the season with 26 home runs, tying for 13th in the MLB for home runs.

While Vlad has slowed his pace down from the insane season he had last year, catcher Alejandro Kirk is having a career-year. Voted into his first All-Star game this year, Kirk has a career-high in pretty much every single stat. Becoming the primary catcher for the Blue Jays this season, Kirk has gotten a lot more opportunities than in the past.

⭐️ @Alejandro_Kirk ⭐️ He leads AL Catchers in…🚀 Average (.300)🚀 OBP (.379)🚀 SLG (.450)🚀 OPS (.829) 🚀 Hits (106) 🚀 wRC+ (140) https://t.co/Lg1UDcWDw7

The Toronto Blue Jays have a great middle-infield with Bo Bichette and Whit Merrifield. Whit Merrifield was acquired at the trade deadline from the Kansas City Royals.

Along with their infield, Toronto has an excellent outfield. George Springer mans center and is an excellent leadoff hitter. The corners are occupied by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez, who can both change the game with one swing.

The Toronto Blue Jays have the talent to be a contender this year. They have a lineup that can produce runs from top to bottom. If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. starts to heat up like he did last year, there's no telling how far this team can go.

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Edited by Gaelin Leif
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