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Your! Call: Can this Blue Jays team re-take the division?

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Sarita Patel
7/4/2014 3:07:03 PM
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With their loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night, the Toronto Blue Jays lost sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time in 43 days. Not only were they bumped out of first in their division, but they've also dropped out of a wild card spot, trailing the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners by a game going into Friday's match-up.

Which brings the question with just over a week until the All-Star Break - is this team actually a playoff contender?

Since their last World Series victory, the Blue Jays have been mired in a 20-year playoff drought. But it wasn't like they weren't trying to change their ways.

That blockbuster trade with the Marlins in 2012 produced just one more win last season than the previous one. They finished 23 games behind the John Farrell-led Boston Red Sox and 17 1/2 games back of a wild card spot.

So where do things sit for this season? How did they stay atop of the division for such a long period of time?

The offence has certainly been a factor. The team has had their fair share of home runs - especially in the month of May led by Edwin Encarnacion - but the small ball has been evident too. And it certainly has - until recently - a lot to do with a healthier roster.

But the real question around this team making it to the postseason will depend on their ability to crawl back to a comfortable lead. They have a tough ten-game road trip prior to the All-Star break. In their first lengthy road trip of the season, they went a combined 3-7 in Baltimore, New York and Cincinnati.

And over the past six seasons, Toronto has struggled hard on road trips of nine or more games. In fact, since their nine-game road losing streak in 2009, the Blue Birds have an abysmal 66-108 record over 18 road trips of nine or more games. Over those 18 road trips, they returned home with a winning record just three times.

That all said, do you think the Toronto Blue Jays will re-take the division and make the playoffs this October or will are we looking at another disappointing season? As always, it's Your! Call.

Toronto Blue Jays Celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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