Opening Day is here, and with that it’s time to post the final prediction column of the year. In past Blue Jays prediction columns, I have gone all in on guys like Eric Thames, Colby Rasmus, and Colt Hynes. Oops, oops, and oops!
So who will be my darling this year?
Here are 25 predictions about Toronto’s upcoming season. Enjoy!
1. Jose Bautista enjoys a huge bounce-back season, posting an OPS over .950.
2. Kendrys Morales puts up better power numbers in Toronto than Edwin Encarnacion does in Cleveland.
3. Josh Donaldson finished in the top-3 of AL MVP voting.
4. Marcus Stroman proves that his performance in the WBC was no fluke by leading the AL in wins.
5. One of Joe Smith and J.P. Howell has a tremendous season, leading the Jays in IP for relievers. The other does not and is off the team by the end of July.
6. All five of Toronto’s starters make at least 25 starts.
7. Kevin Pillar hits over .290.
8. Steve Pearce, Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak, Jose Bautista, and Ryan Goins each make multiple starts at 1B before…..
9. ……Toronto acquires a more permanent solution at the trade deadline.
10. Zeke steals 25+ bases.
11. The Blue Jays post a winning record against every member of the AL East.
12. Saltalamacchia keeps Russell Martin fresh by making over 50 starts behind the plate.
13. The extra rest allows for Martin to have a more productive season, keeping his OPS closer to .800.
14. One Blue Jay joins Carlos Delgado by hitting 4 HR in a single game.
15. Marco Estrada finally does what he has come close to doing on multiple occasions – throw a no-hitter.
16. The longest hitting streak by a Toronto batter will exceed 25 games.
17. The longest scoreless inning streak by a Toronto pitcher will exceed 25 innings.
18. Rowdy Tellez has at least 20 AB this season.
19. On May 8, Edwin makes his Toronto return. He will be greeted by a 3-minute standing ovation and promptly go deep in his first AB.
20. But the Jays get a bit of revenge on Cleveland and win the season series.
21. Tulowitzki avoids the DL and puts up his best season as a member of the Jays.
22. Toronto scores 10 or more runs in a game 15 times in 2017.
23. At least five RP from outside the organization make an appearance.
24. Dalton Pompey makes a meaningful contribution out of the LF spot in September.
25. The Jays stay neck-and-neck with Boston all season long before sneaking past them in the season’s final week to win the East.