Should Steven Matz receive a qualifying offer this off-season?

After narrowly missing the playoffs this past season, there’s no question the Toronto Blue Jays have a very interesting off-season ahead of them, beginning with deciding which players should receive a qualifying offer.

In total, the Blue Jays are slated to have 12 players hit free agency once it opens, although only three of them (Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien and Steven Matz) are potential candidates to warrant this type of offer. Once the 2021 World Series concludes, the front office will possess just five full days to submit these offers, afterwards, any player who receives one will have 10 days to accept or decline.
Though an official amount hasn’t been set just yet, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported this year’s qualifying offer is expected to be valued at $18.4 million, down from last season’s $18.9 million figure.
On the surface, both Ray and Semien are obvious choices to be tied to qualifying offers this winter, however, they’ll each likely decline and opt to enter the free-agent market instead. Beyond this duo, Matz is the only other player on the roster who belongs in this conversation, but there’s some debate about whether he’s worthy enough to command such a …

Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

What to expect from the Toronto Marlies this season

The Toronto Marlies’ season begins this Saturday, and questions remain about their starting lineup.
The top-end of their lineup looks pretty set with players like Josh Ho-Sang, Nicholas Robertson, and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, likely playing a lot of minutes.
However, there are also a few players who’ve arrived via the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last few days in Kurtis Gabriel, Kirill Semyonov, and Alex Biega. Each of those guys will likely challenge for a spot in the top-six too.
What’s most intriguing about this season is that it’s still mostly about development.
“It’s still development.” Marlies head coach, Greg Moore, said on Friday afternoon. “At this level, we still need to win games, we need to be competitive. Hopefully within our model and taking care of our processes each day and how we’re getting better and how we’re developing, the results will take care of themselves.“
A lot of the American Hockey League is about development, especially right now. Last season, the Leafs organization was able to have Robertson at that level. Without COVID-19, that wouldn’t be possible at the AHL level.
And now, during this season, post-COVID, we could see a line …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Best For The Blue Jays Is Yet To Come

If you clicked this article using Facebook, you probably haven’t seen this tweet. If you’re on Twitter, you may have seen me arguing with a Yankees fan about prospects which originated from one of the worst takes I have ever seen. Fun times. This one bad tweet got me thinking about “can this season be repeated” and quite frankly, I think it can be one-upped.

Been sitting on this luke warm take.
The Blue Jays may not get a better shot at a World Series than this year. Yeah they have a young core but Vlad isn’t having a better season than this.
Gut call a month from now they’re the “They’re Young, They’ll be back” team that never is.
— Phill (@MeekPhill_) September 19, 2021

Before the tweet:
The season sucked, but there are some built-in excuses. For example, the Jays didn’t play in front of home fans until arriving in Buffalo and even then, Yankee fans invaded Sahlen Field. The early part of their season was played in Dunedin, Florida, which is hostile territory. Upon arriving back in Toronto on July 30th, the team finished 40-23. 
When Charlie Montoyo says he is proud of …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa is the key to unlocking this offense

Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa is the key to unlocking this offense

One of the more unique players on the Toronto Raptors at this moment in time is center Precious Achiuwa, who ended up in Canada as one of the crown jewels of the Kyle Lowry swap. Achiuwa was brought to Toronto with the expectation that Nick Nurse could give him the shot in the arm he […]
Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa is the key to unlocking this offense – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

BJN Radio – Ep. 52: The 2021 Blue Jays Eulogy

This one was a doozy!

Me, Tyler, and BK sat down and each came up with our own ‘three up, three down’ from this year as a way to look back on all of the good, bad, and everything in between from the 2021 Blue Jays season.
We talked about the good stuff, like Vladdy’s breakout season, the value of Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray’s one-year contracts, Alek Manoah becoming The Big Man out of the blue, the home run jacket being insanely cool, and the amazing homecoming to Toronto in July.
We also talked about the bad stuff, like the chaos that was the early-season bullpen, the ugly losses that ultimately cost the Blue Jays a playoff spot, Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles, George Springer’s injuries, and the current MLB schedule and post-season format.
You can listen to the episode here…

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: Scottie Barnes has already become the ultimate hype man

Raptors: Scottie Barnes has already become the ultimate hype man

The Toronto Raptors might not contend for a championship this season, but they should be fun to watch, and the presence of No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes is a huge reason why. The Florida State alum figures to be a huge part of what Toronto does on both sides of the ball during his […]
Raptors: Scottie Barnes has already become the ultimate hype man – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Ideal depth chart and rotation for 2021 season

Toronto Raptors: Ideal depth chart and rotation for 2021 season

The Toronto Raptors have a whole new look this season, as they had to part ways with Kyle Lowry in the offseason as part of the beginning of a new era. Masai Ujiri once again has this team in prime position to make a run at the postseason despite some preseason doubters. The team is […]
Toronto Raptors: Ideal depth chart and rotation for 2021 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Here we go again: Advanced Stats and Analytics Primer, Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 of this primer on advanced stats and analytics, we looked at some stats and resources that cover the foundation of what we can call “advanced stats” or “analytics” in hockey. To recap:
Corsi (CF%) measures how many shot attempts (shots, misses, blocked shots) there are while a player is on the ice
Production (points, goals, assists) can be measured in a number of different ways (primary points, 5v5 points, etc.)
Expected Goals (xGF%) is similar to Corsi, but it weighs the shot attempts based on how good they were, based on where the shot was taken
Shot attempt models like Corsi and Expected Goals have a reasonably good correlation with future wins, so that’s why they’re important
In this post, I’m going to branch out a little further from this foundation and talk about the loads of other stats that are available for the NHL. So, it’s important that you’re comfortable with everything in that summary before we take this next step.
The beauty of publicly available data is that it takes a ton of grass roots effort to make it happen. Please consider donating to the creators of these tools …

Read More

Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 49: There’s no room left for error

This weekend didn’t go as planned.

The Blue Jays managed a split against the Minnesota Twins while the Yankees rolled into Boston and pulled off a sweep. Toronto is now a game behind Boston for the second wild-card spot while the Yankees are a game up on the Red Sox for the top seed.
We talked about the series, going through the downs, such as Lourdes Gurriel’s injury and the team’s lack of clutch hitting, and then the ups, like Alek Manoah’s huge start on Sunday and George Springer busting out of his slump upon his return to the outfield.
We also looked ahead to the final week of the season, which will feature a must-win series between the Blue Jays and Yankees in Toronto. This is the first time the Yankees will be in Toronto in two years and the Blue Jays are opening capacity to 30,000 fans. There’s a perfect opportunity for a storybook ending here.
You can listen to the episode here…

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs snap their three game losing streak

Perhaps the title of this post isn’t fair. And it certainly doesn’t embrace the fact that it was fun to see the Leafs play again, and while the purpose of the preseason isn’t necessarily to win, it certainly doesn’t hurt to come away with the W, and the Leafs did tonight in a 4-1 win, and with a 2-1 shootout victory as well.
Tonight marked the anticipated return of John Tavares to the lineup, and the healthy captain potted a goal from where we’ve come to appreciate him the most, in front of the net redirecting a William Nylander shot.
Nylander, Tavares, and Jake Muzzin certainly did what we’d hope to see out of them, and played a step above the competition you see teams are playing with only half a NHL roster and shooting against AHL goaltending.
The new arrivals also put on a strong showing as Gabriel managed to end an assist short of a Gordie Howe Hat trick, Michael Bunting put in a greasy goal as well, and Josh Ho-Sang had a strong night, that might unfortunately have one bad turnover as a mark against him. It’s probably worth noting …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation