Monday is the day Blue Jays fans have been waiting months and months for: the team’s first official game of the season.
The team’s season opener will feature a game against the Orioles in Baltimore, but the Blue Jays are already winning big in the social media arena.
The Jays enter the season as the second most followed MLB team on Twitter, just behind the New York Yankees. The Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies round out the Top 5.
The Blue Jays are also the most followed professional sports team on Twitter in Canada, topping the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Canadiens and Canucks.
The last few years have seen a huge upswell in support across the country for Canada’s only MLB team.
This year, the Jays will try to rally support online with the hashtag #LetsRise.
The hashtags for the two previous years were #ComeTogether and #OurMoment. Together, those two hashtags were used more than 1.2 million times during the two seasons.
During both those years, the team made the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in back-to-back seasons.
Twitter also looked back at last season’s most memorable moments. The Top 5 moments that received the highest volume of #BlueJays Tweets were:
- Oct. 5, 2016: #BlueJays defeat Baltimore Orioles in the American League Wild Card Game on a walk-off home run from Edwin Encarnacion
- Oct. 9, 2016: #BlueJays defeat Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the American League Division Series (#ALDS) to advance to the #ALCS
- July 8, 2016: Fans vote #BlueJays outfielder Michael Saunders into the 2016 MLB All-Star Game via social media
The Top 5 most-followed Blue Jays players on the 2017 roster are:
- Jose Bautista @JoeyBats19
- Josh Donaldson @BringerOfRain20
- Marcus Stroman @mstrooo6
- Russell Martin @russellmartin55
- Kevin Pillar @KPILLAR4
On Sunday, the Jays announced their 25-man roster, which saw closer Roberto Osuna put on the 10-day disabled list and released outfielder Melvin Upton Jr.
Toronto will put Marco Estrada on the mound. Estrada leads a starting rotation that includes Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman and that’s been described as “lights out” and enters the 2017-2018 season with high expectations.