BP Toronto’s Bold Predictions for 2018

It’s almost baseball season again! All of us here at BP Toronto have consulted our crystal balls and our Ouija boards so we’re ready to predict the future of the 2018 Toronto Blue Jays. Qualms? Questions? Comments? Be sure to let us know what you think of our picks in the comments below.


Andrew Arnold84-78 – Good enough (ish) for play-off contention (ish).
Andrew Munn88-72 – I’d like to think they’re a playoff team.
Bennett Brauer69-93 A massive firesale at deadline precedes Sept 1 Vlad Call-up.
Dave Church82-80 – Like the late aughts: Good enough to tease, not good enough to be in it come September.
Elie Waitzer89-73 – Rotation quietly the best in AL East; the offence scrapes by.
Greg Wisniewski83-79 – It’s a thin line between success and failure and they have to walk it 38 times against two powerhouses.
Jenn Smith86-76 – “Raising the floor” ought to be worth six or so wins over last season. Factor in better health and they’ll be in the mix.
Jon Shell75-87 – Mid-Season trades. Death to 2018!
Joshua Howsam85-77- They should be good enough to at least keep things interesting. That’s better than pre-2015!
Kyle Matte87-75 – Third place in the AL East, but should be sufficient to beat out the Twins and Angels for the second Wild Card.
Michael Passador86-76 – Just good enough to keep things exciting. Also a few people already took 85-77.
Mike Sonne85-77 – David Price’s arm explodes. CC Sabathia does the dirty dance with father time.
Nick Dika81-81 – I took the the coward’s way out here.
Rachael McDaniel83-79 – Not great, Bob! (but still okay)
Richard Lee-Sam90-72 – They have talent to win 87-90 games.
Sean Addis88-74 – They have “raised the floor”, optimistic they reached this level.
Tammy Rainey91-71 – Attempting to be the most optimistic here.


Andrew ArnoldJosh Donaldson – Because he’s Josh Donaldson.
Andrew MunnJosh Donaldson – Nothing to this point has warranted any other answer.
Bennett BrauerRussell Martin – He’ll have a comeback year at the plate and continue to work well with the staff.
Dave ChurchJosh Donaldson – Easy pick here.
Elie WaitzerJustin Smoak - Donaldson’s calf issues persist, Smoak once again leads the offence.
Greg WisniewskiRandal Grichuk – I’m not 100% sure how, but finding a power hitter in ‘the rough’ is kind of what the Jays do, right?
Jenn SmithJosh Donaldson – No need to get cute with this one. He’s the best position player on the team. And it’s a contract year.
Jon ShellJosh Donaldson – I couldn’t even come up with a clever reason to pick someone else.
Joshua HowsamJosh Donaldson – If it’s anybody else, something has gone seriously wrong.
Kyle MatteJosh Donaldson – A proud guy headed for free agency. Expect the usual Donaldson level of performance, and he’ll draw his name into the lineup 150+ times.
Michael PassadorJosh Donaldson – Too easy to pass up this choice.
Mike SonneDevon Travis – Everyone else wrote Josh Donaldson. If he stays healthy (and Nick Dika and I don’t eat any Pizza).
Nick DikaJosh Donaldson – There really isn’t anyone that comes close to challenging him for this…at least until Vlad gets called up.
Rachael McDanielJosh Donaldson – Honestly, who else would it be?
Richard Lee-SamJosh Donaldson - Duh.
Sean AddisJosh Donaldson – If it isn’t, the season has probably gone poorly.
Tammy RaineyJosh Donaldson – Calling this one for anyone else is attempting to be too clever.


Andrew ArnoldMarcus Stroman – Because everyone will almost for sure choose Sanchez. It will probably be Sanchez. Fine, I choose Aaron Sanchez. Although it could easily be J.A. Happ, Jaime Garcia, or Marco Estrada. Final answer? Roberto Osuna.
Andrew MunnJ.A. Happ – Being bold by going with the bland ace.
Bennett BrauerRoberto Osuna – Coward’s way out here.
Dave ChurchAaron Sanchez – I (DON’T) GOT BLISTERS ON ME FINGERS.
Elie WaitzerAaron Sanchez - Don’t forget the glorious gifs he bestowed upon us in 2016, he’s still filthy.
Greg WisniewskiAaron Sanchez – I can’t bet against a Comeback Player of the Year candidate, can I?
Jenn SmithAaron Sanchez – 2017 was an aberration. The 2016 version of Sanchez is the real deal.
Jon ShellAaron Sanchez – Not like we don’t have precedent for this.
Joshua HowsamAaron Sanchez -Sorry, Marco. I’m going off brand. Sanchez is healthy and is really, really good.
Kyle MatteAaron Sanchez – It’s a legitimate toss-up between Sanchez and Marcus Stroman in my eyes, but only one has been fully healthy this spring.
Michael PassadorAaron Sanchez – This is a motivational tactic to fire up Marcus Stroman, but also Sanchez is really good.
Mike SonneAaron Sanchez – He steals the mojo out of Estrada’s changeup, and all of a sudden he’s MLB’s best pitcher.
Nick DikaAaron Sanchez- That velo and that curveball.  
Rachael McDanielAaron Sanchez – I am fully ready for the Aaron Sanchez 2018 revenge tour.
Richard Lee-SamAaron Sanchez
Sean AddisMarco Estrada – Sanchez would be the easy pick but I think Estrada will rebound from the struggles of last season.  He will quietly be a reliable force in the rotation.
Tammy RaineyAaron Sanchez – He will have a credible case for best in the league after Sale.


Andrew ArnoldLuke Maile - If the definition of “break-out” means “somewhat playable” I think he’s got a shot.
Andrew MunnJoe Biagini – It would be interesting if he pitches his way into the rotation.
Bennett BrauerKevin Pillar – I think he hits .300 and cements himself as a top of the lineup force.
Dave ChurchTeoscar Hernandez – There is lots of opportunity in the outfield for him to shine.
Elie WaitzerYangervis Solarte - All he needs to break out is a power spike, which could happen at the Dome.
Greg WisniewskiAnthony Alford – A late start that results in a call-up when Pillar finally hits a wall that hits back is the Cinderella story I need.
Jenn SmithRandal Grichuk – A change of scenery might just do the trick. Factor in his offseason work and he could very well be a pleasant surprise.
Jon ShellTroy Tulowitzki – Is a re-breakout a thing? Or did I just read “break” and instantly think of him?
Joshua HowsamDevon Travis – He may not play 155 games, but Travis is going to be great for 130.
Kyle MatteAnthony Alford – Alford will be a regular at the top of the Blue Jays lineup’ by mid-June, and neither he nor the team will be looking back.
Michael PassadorDanny Jansen – We’re one Russell Martin injury away. Lock the sauna doors.
Mike SonneRandal Grichuk – He’s better than last year’s RF. Based on 2017-2018 change, it wins, objectively.
Nick DikaAnthony Alford – This is more “please God let it be Anthony Alford” than knowing it’s going to be Anthony Alford.
Rachael McDanielKevin Pillar - THIS IS THE YEAR.
Richard Lee-SamTeoscar Hernandez - That power with less strikeouts? Yes please.
Sean AddisRandal Grichuk – He’ll be given the security of a full time job and will excel in the AL East ballparks.
Tammy RaineyRandal Grichuk – Mid-30’s power, great D and enough speed to steal 20 or more if the bases are not clogged in front of him.


Andrew Arnold – Kendrys Morales - I think he’s set return to his previous form.
Andrew MunnDevon Travis – He’s way too fun for me to give up on.
Bennett BrauerJose Bautista- Just kidding. Aaron Sanchez.
Dave ChurchAaron Sanchez – Can I use the “blisters” thing again? No?
Elie WaitzerRussell Martin - Recaptures his 20+ HR stroke while providing solid OBP.
Greg Wisniewski – Aaron Sanchez – He has the digits to prove it.
Jenn SmithDevon Travis – We know how good he can be when healthy, and he finally has a decent enough backup to give him regular rest.
Jon ShellKendrys Morales – I think people returning from injuries shouldn’t count toward this award.
Joshua HowsamSeung-hwan Oh – It’s probably actually Sanchez, but Oh is going to be the “Final Boss” again, instead of “Oh no, he’s pitching again.”
Kyle MatteDevon Travis – The fact that there are so many viable options for this category is yet another damnation of the 2017 season.
Michael PassadorSeung-hwan Oh – Being turned away by the Rangers represents rock bottom to me, so here’s to the comeback.
Mike SonneDevon Travis – #MoralesTruthersNeedToShareWhatTheyAreSmoking
Nick DikaDevon Travis - Because you’re only injury prone until you’re not. And they’ll give him many off days.
Rachael McDanielAaron Sanchez – Even the word “blister” itself will be rendered a distant dream .
Richard Lee-SamAaron Sanchez -
Sean AddisKendrys Morales –  He will return to the numbers of 2015 and 2016.
Tammy RaineyDevon Travis – This time for sure.


Andrew ArnoldSteve Pearce - DFA’d before the end of May.
Andrew MunnKendrys Morales – The potential outcomes usually don’t look great for aging one-tool players.
Bennett BrauerTeoscar Hernandez It was between him and Stormy Daniels.
Dave ChurchJustin Smoak – This feels inevitable.
Elie WaitzerTroy Tulowitzki - Again.
Greg WisniewskiKendrys Morales – He’s going to decline like aging DHs do, causing us to ask questions that clutch, late-inning home runs can’t answer.
Jenn SmithKevin Pillar – No chance he hits .432/.457/.659 like he did this spring. We’ve seen this play before.
Jon ShellBo Bichette – His wacky swing gets exposed and he tumbles down the lists.
Joshua HowsamSteve Pearce – The man who can’t stay healthy will lose his job to Teoscar Hernández early.
Kyle MatteKendrys Morales – It’s hard to say a guy coming off a 97 wRC+ has bust potential, but there’s been enough hype that I think we’ll be disappointed.
Michael PassadorTeoscar Hernandez – I think we’ll be seeing a lot less of him than we expected a few months ago. Does that count?
Mike SonneKendrys Morales – Older, slower, and still the same ground ball smasher.
Nick DikaKendrys Morales – Age (and a high groundball rate) waits for no man (and especially no power hitter)
Rachael McDanielTroy Tulowitzki – I still love him, but at this point he’s just like a bag of broken bones.
Richard Lee-Samthe New York Yankees - Yeah, I said it.
Sean AddisRyan Tepera-  The number of pitches and innings accumulated last season and the unpredictability of bullpen arms will result in disappoint for fans.
Tammy RaineyKevin Pillar – this is only relative to the team because there’s no one here that I expect to fail.


Andrew ArnoldRotational Health – This team can compete with a healthy rotation. They can’t, without.
Andrew MunnHappy and Healthy Minor League Depth – #PayThePlayers
Bennett BrauerEarly Start – I know, I know: Health. But as we saw last year, it’s impossible to play from behind in such a hard league.
Dave ChurchDon’t Get Hurt – If the guys stay healthy, they’ll be in it. Mostly.
Elie WaitzerJaime Garcia – He has to hold down the 5th starter fort so they don’t need many spot starts.
Greg WisniewskiBreakouts – Need a little pixie dust to sprinkle on the role-players so they play like All-Stars until the inevitable injuries pass.
Jenn SmithDon’t Dig Yourself a Hole – Win more than eight games in the first month of the season. That, and a strong starting five.
Jon ShellVets Build Value Leading to Great Trades - Can we stop pretending we’re not focused on 2020?
Joshua HowsamBullpen Rebounds – Oh, Clippard, and Axford: Three guys who need to re-live past success.
Kyle MatteThe Offense - Over the last three years, the offense has had a wRC+ of 117 (1st), 103 (6th), and 91 (24th). If that doesn’t turn around, it doesn’t matter how good the pitching is/will be.
Michael PassadorDon’t Let Pillar Hit leadoff if Travis Gets Hurt – It’s really health, though.
Mike SonneRaise the Floor – Tulo is hurt, Travis gets hurt, but the replacements end up being even better.
Nick DikaSmoak Follows Up His Breakout – The Jays pitching staff should be able to keep them in games but Smoak needs to follow up on his breakout 2017 to give the Jays another big bat in the middle of the lineup.
Rachael McDanielRotation Health – I still don’t know who Nick Tepesch is and I don’t want to remember.
Richard Lee-SamConsistency – Health, no prolonged slumps, and SPs 1-5 pitching quality innings.
Sean AddisStarting Rotation – Simple, if this team is to contend it will need the pitching to reach its potential.
Tammy RaineyBig April – Achieve and maintain momentum.


Andrew ArnoldRandal Grichuk starts using fellow high school alumni BJ Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” as his walk-up music. Is promptly put directly behind Donaldson in the batting order.
Andrew MunnThe Raptors and Blue Jays accidentally schedule their Parliament Hill championship visits on the same day, resulting in the best photos of the decade.
Bennett Brauer – They throw a no-hitter this year. On the road. Against Baltimore.
Dave ChurchTwo thirds of the opening day lineup is benched or gone by the end of the season.
Elie WaitzerDominic Leone gets the closer job in St. Louis, before losing it to Conner Greene.
Greg WisniewskiJose Bautista returns as hitting coach after an abysmal two months by the offence. His methods allow the Jays to out-homer the Yankees for the rest of the season.
Jenn SmithSomeone other than Kevin Pillar will be the Jays’ starting center fielder by midseason.
Jon ShellAfter another bad start, attendance plummets below 2.5M – And all hell breaks loose between Shapiro and Rogers; team is “sold” to Ed Rogers.
Joshua HowsamAaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman finish 1-2 in AL ERA. Sanchez crushes Stroman in Cy Young votes though because of media disdain for “6.”
Kyle MatteThe Blue Jays are in playoff contention in September, and the offense is carried by a trio of rookie hitters.
Michael PassadorBuck and Pat don’t mention Derek Jeter until the fifth inning on Opening Day.
Mike SonneMarcus Stroman figures out how to strike out hitters, finishes top 5 in Cy Young voting, and demands a trade in the off season.
Nick DikaYangervis Solarte becomes the team’s primary shortstop at some point during the regular season….and doesn’t make Josh upset with his defensive play either.
Rachael McDaniel - In a shocking turn of events, the Jays go 19-0 against the Yankees. Neither Aaron Judge nor Giancarlo Stanton homer at Rogers Centre.
Richard Lee-SamThe Blue Jays stay within striking distance all season. Pennant race!
Sean AddisThe Blue Jays will have the best bullpen in the AL East.
Tammy RaineyThey’ll have a realistic chance to win the AL East into September.

And that’s it! Some of us will be right, some of us will be wrong, and some of us will look downright silly.

Enjoy the season!

Lead Photo From George Hodan

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