Troy Tulowitzki trade doesn't make Blue Jays a playoff team

The immediate reaction to the Blue Jays trading for Troy Tulowitzki is: "What the hell are you doing? You need pitching." Then you try to see the logic behind the team with the best offense in baseball, and a deficit of arms, adding to its lineup instead of its rotation or recently faltering bullpen.At Fangraphs, Dave Cameron laid out this logic well: "a run is a run is a run." It's true 7-5 wins count just as much as 5-3 wins. It's also a red herring. TRADE RUMORS: Jonathan Papelbon | Justin Upton | David PriceThe argument about lineups progressing exponentially rather than linearly is all well and good. What it does not take into account is the pitchers on the other side, who can shut down even the best lineups. Even though the Blue Jays averaged 5.28 runs per game before adding Tulowitzki — who is an upgrade over the 2015 version of Jose Reyes — there still have been 40 games this year in which the Blue Jays have been held to three runs or fewer. That's one more time than the American League East-leading Yankees have.In the games in which the Blue Jays' lineup has been held in check, Toronto is 4-36. New York is 9-30. That is the majority of the difference in the East standings: while the Yankees have good enough pitching to squeeze out the occasional low-scoring affair, the Blue Jays are much less adept in those situations.The Blue Jays are 3-3 when scoring four runs, 5-4 when scoring five runs, and 8-3 when scoring six runs — a total of 16-10. The Yankees are 28-10 when scoring 4-6 runs. Again, advantage to New York in these mid-range offensive output games, because of the Yankees' superior pitching.Toronto has scored seven or more runs a major league-high 34 times, going 30-4 to the Yankees' 19-2 mark. Basically, if you score seven, you're going to win, and Toronto's hope with Tulowitzki is to raise that rate from 34 percent to something that equals a playoff berth.The question of whether that is realistic is where the wisdom of the Tulowitzki trade hinges, at least for this year, Beyond that, it's a coup for Toronto if the star shortstop stays healthy.The highest rate of seven-run outputs in the last 60 years belongs to the 1999 Diamondbacks, at 42.6 percent. Say the Blue Jays match that over their remaining 62 games — that's 26 games. At a 34 percent rate, it's 21 games.So, you might be saying, hey, that's five extra games! That, however, is an absolute best-case scenario. It does not take into account the possibility of one injury wrecking that expected exponential growth, or the difference in run-scoring environment between 1999 and today. The highest rate of seven-run games this decade belongs to the 2011 Rangers at 37 percent, which would be 23 such games for the Blue Jays the rest of the way.That Texas team went to the World Series. The Rangers also had four above-average starting pitchers and the young Neftali Feliz closing.The Blu

e Jays still have time to add pitching before the trade deadline on Friday. If they hope to make the playoffs with one of the best lineups in years, they better.