1. George Springer
I mean … insert any Toronto Blue Jays offensive player here, but Springer’s return could be the biggest difference between the Jays’ inconsistent effort from April through August and their sustainable, white-hotness down the stretch.
Now, we’ve got another playoff-tested weapon to reckon with. When Springer makes an out in the clutch, it’s shocking.
The ex-Astro put the baseball world on notice when his two-out, two-run homer stole the lead and averted disaster in Baltimore, capping a monster comeback in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. When the Jays first ignited, it was thanks in large part to the outfielder’s 13 homers in July and August. Now, he should be available for every important battle down the stretch — and yes, the Yanks are visiting for three more.
Who else should we pinpoint on Toronto? Well, Bo Bichette counts; he won Game 2 Saturday night with a two-run shot to bust up the no-hitter and pull the momentum switch. Marcus Semien has been the most consistent hitter on this roster all year, and he’s batting .387 with five homers over the team’s past week of games — many of them against us! It’s felt like it. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., left in the “bust” column by dummies in 2020, has matched his father’s career high in homers at the age of 22, and is hitting .371 with four bombs over the same period of time.
Who knows? Maybe if the Jays pull away in the playoff race, they’ll give him a chance to pitch and he can swipe the MVP from Shohei Ohtani.
Everywhere you turn, there’s a terrifying visage in Toronto. But Springer should finally put them over the top, glomming onto their stunningly impressive run differential.