What is happening? Following the completion of Tuesday’s ALCS and NLCS games, both the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs find themselves in nearly insurmountable holes. The Blue Jays were absolutely dismantled in Game Four by the Kansas City Royals, losing by a final score of 14-2. The Cubs played in a much closer contest, losing 5-2 in Game Three against the New York Mets.
The Blue Jays now find themselves down three games to one, with only one home game remaining before returning to Kansas City for two more games. The Cubs find themselves down three games to zero, with two games at Wrigley Field and two games back in New York. With both teams facing elimination in tomorrow’s games, the Toronto Blue Jays have the better chance of making a comeback than the Chicago Cubs.
Despite the insurmountable odds facing both the Jays and Cubs, some history may be on their side. For the Jays, they are looking for a repeat of what the Royals did exactly thirty years ago in the 1985 ALCS. Down three games to one with only one home game remaining, those Royals came back from this deficit to beat the Toronto Blue Jays, and win not only the ALCS but also the World Series. This year the Blue Jays are hoping that history is on their side.
For the Cubs, their World Series championship was foretold by the Back to the Future movie franchise. When the main character Marty McFly travels into the future he ends up in the year 2015, where he finds a billboard proclaiming the Chicago Cubs as 2015 World Series Champions. For Chicago Cubs fans, who may be the most superstitious mans in all of baseball, this is a positive omen that this is the Cubs year despite all odds.
With both of these teams, and their current situations, in mind the Blue Jays have the better chance of overcoming nearly insurmountable odds for a variety of reasons.
First off, the Blue Jays are simply in a better position than the Cubs currently are in. Despite losing in a blowout at home in Game Four, Toronto needs to win only three games in a row to advance to the World Series. For the Cubs, it is four games in a row, which includes two at Wrigley Field and two back in New York.
The Jays have also been in a similar scenario quite recently and have lived to tell the tale. After falling down, two games to none against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS, the Jays came back to win three games in a row, including two on the road in Texas, to win the series and advance to the ALCS. The Jays will have to achieve the same feat one more time if they hope to make it back to the World Series for the first time in 22 years.
While the Jays have faced more recent adversity, and really frequent adversity all season, the Cubs dominated the Cardinals over the four game NLDS series and really were strong all season on their way to a 97 win season. The Jays, with a stronger veteran presence on their team, know what it takes to face elimination and overcome those prospects while the Cubs simply do not.
The Cubs and Blue Jays have two of the strongest offenses in the league, although both have been kept quiet in their respective series. While the Cubs have been absolutely shut down by Mets pitching, the Blue Jays have done some damage against the Royals. The Royals have had quite a shaky starting rotation this season which certainly bodes well for the Blue Jays. By comparison the Cubs must defeat all four of the Mets phenomenal young starters if they hope to advance to the World Series. Good luck.
Both the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs are in truly unenviable situations in the Championship series. While both teams have long odds to advance to the World Series, it is entirely possible that one or both of these teams could overcome those odds. Based on a further analysis of both teams current situations, it seems entirely more plausible that the Blue Jays have a better chance of overcoming these long odds than do the Cubs. With that being said, as the 2004 Red Sox so eloquently proved, truly anything can happen during October baseball.