The Toronto Blue Jays are struggling to keep their heads above water against their American League East division rivals, but what does manager John Schneider think?
In an interview ahead of the Blue 스포츠토토 Jays’ series against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Schneider was asked about their 6-16 record against teams from the same division.
“I don’t think the players are under pressure. They’re confident,” he said, adding, “I think that’s why this is such a talented division.”
The American League East has a reputation for being a traditionally competitive division. In the 2021 season, four teams won 90 games at the same time. This is the first time this has happened since the current division system was introduced.
The New York Yankees, the league’s defending champions, have been consistently good, while the Tampa Bay Rays have emerged as a powerhouse, overcoming small-market limitations to make the postseason every season since 2019. The Boston Red Sox have had their ups and downs, but have been consistently good, winning two World Series titles since 2013.
Their opponents, the Baltimore Orioles, have been the ‘neighborhood boys’ for a while now, but as their rebuild comes to a close, they are becoming a formidable team. They have a 42-24 record this season, good for second place in the division.
Toronto’s current record is a respectable 37-31, 1.5 games behind the third wild card spot, but they are fourth in the division. It’s a tough division.
Tampa Bay (32-13), Baltimore (30-17), Yankees (28-17), and Toronto (31-15) have all performed well against other district teams. Even Boston, the last-place team in the division, isn’t too far off the 5-percent mark with a 23-24 record against other division teams.
“We’ve been saying for a long time, this is a district with a lot of exceptionally talented teams, but we don’t want to put more pressure on these types of series at this time of year,” Schneider said. It’s a little weird. In September (later in the season), maybe it would be a different answer, but right now it’s just, ‘It’s a good district,'” he said.
Meanwhile, Toronto will host Kyle Bladen (2-2, 4.25) on Sunday with a lineup of George Springer (right field), Bo Bissett (shortstop), Dalton Bashaw (left field), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (designated hitter), Alejandro Kirk (catcher), Matt Chapman (third base), Kevin Kiermaier (center field), Whit Merrifield (second base) and Cavan Biggio (first base). The starting pitcher is Jose Berrios (6-4, 3.61).
“We wanted to get runners on base in the top of the order and put runners in scoring position in front of Blady (Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), and we wanted to add some flexibility in the bottom of the order given the opposing bullpen,” Schneider said of the lineup change.