The 2018 MLB season is well under way and the Blue Jays have played 10 games, going a respectable 6-4 (2-2 vs. Yankees, 2-1 series wins over White Sox and Rangers). Which answers one question I had going into the season: would they improve on their atrocious start of last year? At this point in 2017, they were 1-9, the worst start in the previous 20 years. It took them 20 games to reach 6 wins last year. Playing .500 ball is the mark of a good team, and the 2017 Jays were doomed from the beginning.
Before 2018 began, as a franchise, the Jays were a cumulative 31 games below .500. See my graph below (blue denotes how many games above of below the Jays were each season; the orange denotes the season-by-season totals). So as of now, they are a cumulative 29 games below .500.
Another question I had before the season started was about Justin Smoak: would he repeat his performance of a year ago. So far, he seems to be on pace to having another great year. His stat line for the first 10 games of 2018 is impressive: 2 HR, 10 RBIs, .432 OBP .351 AVG, .649 SLG, 1.080 OPS.
Some other observations thus far: starting pitching has been great. Roberto Osuna has been great with 4 saves so far, tied for MLB best (though at time of writing, the Mets-Nationals game was not finished). They’ve turned 16 double plays so far. Josh Donaldson can throw again, after starting the season with a “dead arm.”
Highlight so far was Kevin Pillar’s 3 stolen bases (2nd, 3rd, and home) in the 8th inning of Game 3 vs. the Yankees’ Dellin Betances. First time in franchise history that a player stole 3 bases in one inning. That was a thrill to watch.