Blue Jays 2016 Season Preview
The Jays had a breakthrough season last year, making the playoffs after a long drought.
After making a flurry of moves they had a second half for the ages and surged all the way to the ALCS where they could not get by eventual World Series Champ Kansas City.
MLB Tigers Predictions & Handicapping Insight
Heading into 2016 they are all in on making an even deeper run. This a very good team that should once again have the best offense in baseball. The American League East will be very competitive but I think this group will be a factor all season long…and win it.
Hopefully the expiring contracts of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will not be a distraction.
Blue Jays 2016 American League East Odds: +280
Blue Jays 2016 American League Pennant Odds: 6/1
Blue Jays 2016 World Series Odds: 10/1
RP Drew Storen, SP J.A. Happ
The Blue Jays have one of the best lineups in the game so they were not looking to make any significant changes there.
The focus was on pitching and even though they did not make a great effort to resign David Price it looks like they have enough in the rotation with the addition of Happ and a couple of others. Storen is a proven back of the bullpen arm who may wind up in the closer role.
SP David Price, OF Ben Revere, SP Mark Buehrle
It would have been nice if they could have kept the whole gang together but that was not reasonable given Price’s hefty salary demands. It was a surprise that they dealt Revere for Storen but this offense is so good they are not going to suffer too much.
They were mashing well before he arrived. Buehrle was always solid but they also didn’t use him in the playoffs – which tells you something.
2016 Blue Jays Predictions – Projected Lineup
- Kevin Pillar – OF
- Josh Donaldson – 3B
- Jose Bautista – OF
- Edwin Encarnacion – DH
- Troy Tulowitzki – SS
- Russell Martin – C
- Justin Smoak – 1B
- Michael Saunders – OF
- Ryan Goins – 2B
The Jays led the league in scoring last year and it wasn’t even close. This season you can make an argument that the offense could be even better thanks to a full season with Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup.
That is a scary thought but the Jays really do have four guys who could go 30/100.
No lineup is perfect and you can point to the top where Kevin Pillar will start the season if you want to identify a potential weakness.
Pillar has a strong season last year but he has never been a leadoff hitter in the Majors and probably is not the prototype though he will definitely not clog up the base paths.
Smoak is part of a very productive platoon with Chris Colabello giving the lineup another slot that could go 30/100 when you put the two together (they did last year).
Also this is a great defensive club. They are above average at every spot on the diamond and elite up the middle.
2016 Blue Jays Predictions – Projected Rotation
- Marcus Stroman
- Marco Estrada
- R.A. Dickey
- J.A. Happ
- Aaron Sanchez
The Jays rotation has a lot of question marks but it also has a lot of upside. In his short career Stroman has showed he can take anything that comes his way but he is admittedly one of the lesser established opening day starters around.
He and Sanchez have Cy Young calibre talent the question is whether they can put it all together and there is still a chance Sanchez starts the season in the pen.
Dickey and Happ will be the stalwarts and they have some swing guys to grab some innings. Don’t forget this group is backed by the best offense in the game and a great defense.
2016 Blue Jays Predictions – Projected Bullpen
- Drew Storen
- Roberto Osuna
- Brett Cecil
The Jays quietly had one of the better back ends of the bullpen last year because Osuna was awesome for a rookie. Cecil was also amazing, he found his fastball and was unhittable for a stretch – against lefties he is super tough.
Adding Storen gives them that much more depth and if Sanchez is slotted to the pen it becomes a bit of an embarrassment of riches.
2016 Blue Jays Predictions
The Jays were so hot down the stretch last year so the instinct is to assume they can’t play like that again. That is true but it is also true that they probably should have been a lot better than a .500 team for the first 100 games.
The ceiling for this group is high.
Heading into a season you want to go with your known quantities and you know this team is going to score runs, a lot of them. Even if a couple of guys do not have awesome years they are probably going to be in the top five.
Overs are not necessarily the play because everyone knows this team can hit but this is great dog team because their offense is just that good.
Toronto will have another good season. I would predict 90 wins or more which should get them back into the playoffs. More important this will be a fun team to follow and one to make some money on. The best offense, maybe the best defense and just enough pitching.
It is a formula that will work well.
What do you think of our 2016 Toronto Blue Jays predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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