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Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (19) is congratulated by teammate Brett Lawrie after scoring on Dioner Navarro's sacrifice fly during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., Thursday, April 3, 2014. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/The Associated Press)

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (19) is congratulated by teammate Brett Lawrie after scoring on Dioner Navarro's sacrifice fly during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., Thursday, April 3, 2014.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack/The Associated Press)

Five reasons to give the Blue Jays a chance this year Add to ...

The Toronto Blue Jays begin the home segment of their regular-season schedule Friday night against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre and, as usual at this time of the year, hope springs eternal. Here are five reasons why you should give them a chance this year.

Rusty Kennedy/AP

Remember when?

It has been 20 years since the Blue Jays last made the playoffs so the law of averages has to fall in your favour at some point. Also, the Toronto Maple Leafs are not likely to be in the playoffs, so what else are you going to do with your spare time?
Charlie Neibergall/AP

Getting it done early

Jose Reyes decided to get his injury issues out of the way in the first game in his first at bat, straining a hamstring that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. Better now than later on in the season to give the shortstop plenty of time to get healthy and get back into the lineup.
Steve Nesius/AP

New (rebuilt) arms in starting rotation

The two new arms in the starting rotation, Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan, will at the very least help erase the memories of the disaster that was Josh Johnson in 2013. Hutchison is coming back after Tommy John surgery while McGowan’s shoulder sagas have been well documented. Nothing better than cheering for the underdog.
Chris O'Meara/AP

Power in the middle

If both can remain healthy, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion represent perhaps the best one-two power punch in any lineup in Major League Baseball. Bautista already has two home runs to his credit over the first four games in Tampa while EE is still waiting to heat up. Look for those bats to do some damage, especially at hitting-friendly Rogers Centre.
Chris Young/CP

Only way to go is up

The Blue Jays stunk so bad last year it can’t possibly get worse – can it? A split in their four game opening series in Tampa against the solid Rays in a park that has resembled Death Valley for Toronto over the years, has to be considered a good start to the season. 

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