To some home field advantage is just an added bonus and a luxury, but for the Toronto Blue Jays, home field advantage is a must.
The Blue Jays, are Canada’s team. Their fanbase stretches across the entire country of Canada and right now the fever could not be higher. The Blue Jays just unleashed a storm, after 22 years of calm. They sold out 14 of their last 15 home games. ALDS tickets sold out in 20 minutes. Queues to buy tickets ranged from 70,000 to 150,000 waiting their turn online and on the phone trying to secure tickets. Baseball is sexy in Toronto again. ESPN stated during their broadcast of the Jays-Yankees series how the Rogers Centre was the loudest environment they have ever broadcasted in and TNT stated the same thing about the Toronto Raptors of the NBA last season. Toronto is becoming a baseball town, a party town, and a team everyone wants to play for.
Besides the fact that the fans and the city have been waiting for this for decades, the Jays are also 53-28 at home and a mediocre 39-38 on the road. They’ve hit more 19 home runs at home and have pitched to a 3.20 ERA on home rather than a 4.40 on the road. The Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre are an unbeatable team and on the road, they are vulnerable. Having players like Marcus Stroman and Kevin Pillar, who live for the moment, the lights, the highlight reel plays, a packed Rogers Centre will add fuel to their already burning fire. They feed off their fans and the noise and an extra edge is given to the entire team. After years of playing in empty stadiums and having difficult times, playing in Toronto is becoming fun rather than an exercise futility played out in front of an empty stadium.
Home field advantage will also be huge for the Blue Jays should they advance past the first round of the playoffs. The Kansas City Royals could very well be waiting in the ALCS, and if last year showed us anything, it is that the good people of Kansas City are equally passionate about their ballclub. The Royals are 51-30 at home but just 40-37 on the road. The Royals have played to an average of 88.2-percent capacity crowd at Kaufman Field. As the Blue Jays built their playoff hopes, Rogers Centre has been just as full. Just imagine the juice that would come with a Toronto-Kansas City matchup in the ALCS.
The Blue Jays have the highest run differential in baseball. They are the favorites, and there is a whole country rooting and standing proudly for once behind their boys and their team. They might need a new trophy case for this season. The MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year, and Executive of the Year could all fall in Toronto’s hands. They have everything you need and want in a championship team. The emotions of the GM who sat with fans the day his team clinched and David Price sitting with the bullpen during the second game of a double header after wrapping up the division shows camaraderie and trust. If the Jays get home field advantage, they become an even bigger threat to bring the first World Series title back home in 22 years.