Astros: How the Astros can beat the Blue Jays (next year)
Looking ahead to 2017, can the Astros beat the Blue Jays next year?
I was going to write about how the Astros can beat the Bluejays this year, but you know – the bullpen happened. But I won’t get into that.
As we look towards the offseason, we are often left with what was and what could’ve been. A season that turned out to be a disarray of bullpen inconsistencies, an unpredictable lineup and a slew of injuries, we can safely say goodbye to the 2016 season.
Now to look forward to 2017. Our SI-proclaimed season of glory is but a winter away, and it can’t come any sooner. Some of our familiar opponents will most certainly still be at the top of their game – namely the Rangers and Red Sox – but I will take a look at a team I’m familiar with – the Toronto Blue Jays.
Living in Toronto has given me some insight on this high-octane offensive juggernaut and some of the pitfalls they have gone through in the last year and a half.
A look at the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays, amid a Houston-like string of futile seasons, finally figured it out last year after a blockbuster trade deadline. They traded for the likes of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price after picking up Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson in the offseason.
Since July 31, 2015, the Blue Jays have gone 126-88 and with they’ve earned it. Already stacked with Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, this team and its faithful has been salivating at a shot at the crown.
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What got them there last year was their hitting. They racked up a league leading 232 homers and a whopping 852 RBI’s en route to an ALCS appearance. They got passed the Rangers in a heated 5 game series that was capped by the bat flip of epic proportions.
This year, with that same lineup, they’ve hit patches and have relied a lot on the strength of their . Their pitching, who currently holds a 3.81 ERA and has 1264 strikeouts on the season. At the top of their rotation is J.A. Happ, an ex-Astro who has finally found his groove in a tough AL East. If the Blue Jays are to go far this year, their pitching will take them there. The offense will need to be good enough to bypass Texas, Cleveland, and Boston in this years’ playoffs.
Comparing the futures of both teams.
A big concern for the Blue Jays and how it pertains to the Astros is longevity. This Blue Jay club, with their big free agent signings and murderer’s row of sluggers, can only be this good for so long. In 2017, the Astros can beat the Blue Jays pretty handily with our crop of young talent.
After the 2017 season, they will be tested in free agency with Encarnacion, Marco Estrada, and ‘Bat Flip’ Joey Bats due to hit the open market. And with David Ortiz endorsing Encarnacion as his heir apparent in Boston, it might prove to be difficult to retain all three.
The Blue Jays also need to contend with age. As one of the oldest club in the MLB, they’ve depleted a good bit of the farm to get to this point and will have to Astro their way back to the top. Clearly, their time is now.
Next: Astros AM: Hustletown Moves Up in Wild Card Chase!
If it’s any conciliation in this roller coaster season for the Astros, is that other teams also have their faults. It will be a testament to how the Astros can beat the Blue Jays and other powerhouses of the American League. For Houston, with the future paved ahead for them, it’s going to be an exciting couple of years to come.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***