TORONTO — Building a homefield advantage without the benefit of fans in the stands is near impossible, but that’s exactly what the Toronto Blue Jays will go about trying to do over the next seven weeks.

If you’re interested in gauging how that process is going, there’s a readily available barometer: The standings.

With the Jays moving into downtown Buffalo’s Sahlen Field for 27 home games and christening their temporary home Tuesday with the start of a two-game set against the COVID-19-ravaged Miami Marlins, there’s only one way manager Charlie Montoyo and GM Ross Atkins’ club can build any sort of homefield advantage from now though the final day of the season on Sept. 27: Win.

Tuesday’s home opener provided the first semblance of normalcy — whatever that feels like these days — for the organization since March.

The whirlwind nature of the last two months has forced Blue Jays brass, led by Atkins, president Mark Shapiro, and Marnie Starkman, senior VP of marketing and business operations, to pivot numerous times since early June when the club’s spring facility in Dunedin was seen as a simple and readymade option.

Now, with blue paint and Jays logos sprucing up the Buffalo ballpark that was originally built in 1988, the team is ready to attempt turning their minor-league digs into a place other major-league teams would prefer not to venture into.

“I was actually concerned about everything,” said Montoyo, who checked out the ballpark late Sunday night when the team arrived from Boston. “Of course, it’s not a big-league ballpark, but the job they did here, it’s amazing. It feels like a big-league ballpark right now. Everything looks great. Toronto Blue Jays (logos) everywhere and the players are happy and pleased so that means a lot to me.”

Two two most pressing issues coming into this process have been taken care of.

The lighting has been upgraded to MLB standards, and the Jays were able to creatively turn the stadium’s insides into socially-distanced clubhouse areas, batting cages and weight rooms, including the use of the usual beer-buying concourse areas, an idea they used after seeing Fenway Park in Boston.

“Their reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” Atkins said Tuesday. “There’s smiles on guys’ faces and I think seemingly guys are appreciative of the amount of work and just attention to detail, thoughts on using the space in a safe way and also in a productive way that guys will feel they have what they need to get ready to compete at the highest level.”

What the Blue Jays’ highest level ends up being over the next three-to-four weeks, a gauntlet of 28 games in 27 days starting Friday, will tell the story of whether Sahlen Field is just a building to call home or an actual advantage.

Visitors may not like the setup, lending credence to the idea that the Jays could carve out something of a homefield edge.

The visitors’ clubhouse is a tent-style system in the parking lot outside the wall in right-centre field.

It likely won’t feel normal coming from another MLB city, from an MLB clubhouse with all of the amenities and convenience attached.

By the time they’ve adjusted to their Sahlen Field surroundings, they’ll be on to the next city.

But in order to take advantage of what you could envision being some type of advantage, the Jays will have to find a way to score some runs.

A lot more runs.

After a winter of going about improving the pitching staff — they’ve done that — it’s now all on the kids in the lineup to adjust, as the Jays are averaging just 3.0 runs per game through the first baker’s dozen.

“I think it’s youth, is what we’re seeing,” Atkins said when asked about the struggles offensively.

“One of the hardest things — and we talk about it often — is going from being a competitive team to a winning team. We’re confident that’s going to happen, it’s just hard to put a hard timeline on it.”

Atkins says over-aggressiveness has been an issue, while Montoyo pointed out that the stop-and-start nature of the Jays’ schedule thus far has not helped the bats find their timing.

There’s also the fact it’s very clear pitchers are more ready for this shortened season than hitters — it’s the same thing every March — and expanded pitching staffs have allowed teams to use fresh arms in shorter spurts.

A struggling Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has shown an extreme comfort level in Buffalo with nine home runs in just 39 games while toiling in Triple-A, is one of the keys.

With an on-base under .300 to start the year and the much-publicized launch-angle issue, it’s more than just a slump.

“Vladdy has not traditionally been a guy who has been as aggressive as he’s been and chased as much as he’s chased, and he needs to put the ball in the air a good bit more,” Atkins said. “Vladdy will adjust. He has the innate ability to manipulate the bat and the bat path and make consistent contact and I think, really, the biggest factor is it’s not a significant fundamental adjustment, it’s not a significant mental adjustment, it really is for him to get more confident so that he’s sticking to his plan and approach and getting deeper into counts and swinging at balls that he can drive in advantage counts. I think once that happens, that talent level and that innate ability to hit, you’re going to see a different walks and strikeout line than we’re seeing right now for him.”

As we all knew in this unique 60-game sprint, there’s not much time for teams to figure out exactly who they are, and there’s already less than three weeks to go until the Aug. 31 trade deadline.

Realistically, the Jays will have to leap above the .500 mark for Atkins to consider buying, which would mean giving up prospect capital for less than a month of baseball.

Selling will be on the table, too, but closer Ken Giles’ elbow woes have thrown a wrench into those plans for a second straight summer.

“Although 13 games is not a significant sample, 26 (games) will mean something in this year,” Atkins said. “So as we look up in a couple weeks, I think, we’ll have a better feeling for kind of where we stand, how guys are performing, and what that looks like moving forward into that time period.”

For now, the Jays are just happy to have a home, even if nothing really feels normal in 2020.

“I feel that way and I’m pretty sure that our players do — when they came here, they didn’t recognize it,” Atkins said. “That was a good feeling for me.”