Give the Toronto Blue Jays credit. The team is a whole lot of fun to watch, and they’re having fun. The Jays boast one of the most explosive offenses in all of baseball, led by their triple-threat star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. On Sunday, they put 14 NFL teams to shame during Week 1 of the football season. On Monday, even the team’s social media crew got in on the fun, bragging about their impressive feat.
The Toronto Blue Jays, led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., are making some serious noise
Guerrero Jr. has become a legitimate Major League Baseball threat this season. He’s actually become a triple threat as the Blue Jays find themselves in the thick of the playoff race. As of Wednesday, the Jays are tied with the New York Yankees with an 81-64 record, which is good enough for the top two wild card spots in the American League.
Although he’s not a one-man show in Toronto, Guerrero Jr. has been the primary reason for the Jays’ success this season. Toronto is second in the majors in runs scored (765), trailing the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays (778), who hold a nine-game lead over Toronto in the American League East. Guerrero leads the league in two Triple Crown categories with home runs (45) and batting average (.315). He is six RBIs behind Kansas City’s Salvador Perez, who has 109.
When Guerrero steps to the plate, he puts on a show. Although he has a great eye, he boasts a massive swing that generates some long home runs. When he hit his 45th homer Monday, the ball got out of the park quickly. According to ESPN, the ball had a 15.4-degree launch angle, the third-lowest launch angle on any home run this season in the big leagues.
“I think the third baseman jumped,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I thought it was going to hit the wall — there was no way it was going out. When it went out, I went, ‘Oh my God.’ Not many people can do that.”
On Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays outscored 14 NFL teams
All eyes were on the NFL this weekend. The league began its full slate of games with 28 teams taking the field Sunday. While the NFL was in the spotlight, the Blue Jays were focused on their postseason run with a game at the Baltimore Orioles. In that game, Toronto scored 10 runs in the third inning en route to a 22-7 walloping of the Orioles.
Those 22 were good enough to outscore half of those NFL teams that played Sunday. That’s right, the Jays scored more than 14 football teams that day. Oh, and those Jays were proud. On Monday the team pointed it out via Twitter, listing all 14 teams they outscored.
Three of those low-scoring football teams actually won. The Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Washington Football Team 20-16. The Miami Dolphins knocked off the New England Patriots 17-16, while the Carolina Panthers shut down the New York Jets 19-14.
The other NFL squads failing to outscore the Blue Jays on Sunday were the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, and Buffalo Bills.
Is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. the American League MVP?
Guerrero Jr. is certainly one of the top two candidates for the American League’s Most Valuable Player honor, but could he be the favorite? Shohei Ohtani has been the leading candidate in most eyes for the better part of the season with his two-way performance as a hitter and pitcher.
Ohtani has 44 home runs this season and has driven in 94 runs. His batting average, however, is .257. The Angels slugger has also swiped 23 bases. What’s impressive about Ohtani is he is also 9-2 as a pitcher with a 3.36 ERA.
Guerrero Jr. has one more home run and is blowing him away in the batting average department.
Is Ohtani’s two-way game the difference-maker? It’s a tough call. If we go by the title of the award — the Most VALUABLE Player — the nod has to go to Guerrero Jr.
Why? Without him, the Jays aren’t sniffing the playoffs. He’s valuable in making the difference between a non-playoff team and a playoff team. Sure, Ohtani is valuable to his team. With him, they sit 70-74 and in fourth place in the division, 14 games out of first place. Without him, they are still mired in fourth place, maybe fifth, and still without postseason hopes.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.