Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Wild Card Series Preview

AL Wild Card

The Postseason has arrived, and the Toronto Blue Jays will take on the Minnesota Twins. The Blue Jays dropped on the season’s final day to the sixth seed to draw the Twins, while Minnesota won the American League Central to lock in the third seed. The Blue Jays are back in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Twins are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2020. In six games over their season series, the two teams split the season series, with each team winning three games each. The Twins outscored the Blue Jays in those three games 28-26.

Toronto Blue Jays (89-73) vs. Minnesota Twins (87-75)

Game 1:

Date: Tuesday, October 3
Time: 4:38 pm EST
Broadcast: ESPN

Game 2:

Date: Wednesday, October 4
Time: 4:38 pm EST
Broadcast: ESPN

Game 3: If Necessary

Date: Wednesday, October 5
Time: TBD
Broadcast: ESPN

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: Kevin Gausman (12-9, 3.16 ERA) vs. Pablo Lopez (11-8, 3.67 ERA)

Kevin Gausman will start the series for the Blue Jays. Over his last five starts, Gausman has gone 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP, a 12.8 K/9, and a 35:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his career against the Twins, he is 1-4 in 11 starts; he posts a career 6.35 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, and a 10.3 K/9.

Pablo Lopez will take the ball for the Twins to start the series. Lopez went 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.68 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, an 11.7 K/9, and a 38:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his career against the Blue Jays, he is 1-0 in two starts, posting a 5.58 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP, and a 14.0 K/9.

Game 2: Jose Berrios (11-12, 3.65 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (8-8, 2.79 ERA)

Jose Berrios will get game two of the series for Toronto. Berrios is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 3.41 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, a 10.8 K/9, and a 38:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his career against his former team, the Twins, he is 3-1 in five starts, posting a 3.90 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9.

Sonny Gray will get game two of the series for Minnesota. In his last five starts, he is 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, a 9.0 K/9, and a 27:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Against the Blue Jays in his career, he has made 15 appearances, with 14 being starts; he is 4-4 with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP, and an 8.1 K/9.

Game 3: Chris Bassitt (16-8, 3.60 ERA) vs. Joe Ryan (11-10,4.51 ERA)

If this series goes to game three, Chris Bassitt will get the ball for Toronto. In his last five starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, a 9.1 K/9, and a 35:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has made seven appearances against the Twins in his career, with four being starts; he is 1-1 with a 5.26 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP, and an 8.1 K/9.

The Twins will have Joe Ryan if the series goes to game three. In his last five starts, Ryan is 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP, an 11.3 K/9, and a 31:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his career against the Blue Jays, he is 0-0 in one start, which came this year when he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits; he walked one and struck out four.

Blue Jays vs. Twins Batting Leaders

Toronto vs. Minnesota Batting
ESPN

Key for the Toronto Blue Jays

Pitching

Entering 2023, the Blue Jays seemed like the team to beat with their lineup and pitching, and Alek Manoah was a Cy Young favorite, but things didn’t work out for him in 2023. The bats will be ready as there is not an easy out in this Toronto lineup, but the pitching will need to carry them. The Blue Jays pitching finished in the top half of the league in 2023, and they will need those kinds of outings against the Twins if they want to move on to the ALDS.  

Key for the Minnesota Twins

Offense

The Twins overall finished in the top half of just about every category in pitching and hitting, but against this Blue Jays team, they will need to score to keep pace; it should help that they are expected to get Carlos Correa back, who is key to the Twins lineup. Edouard Julien shocked a lot of people this year and has been a key cog to the Twins lineup; they will need him to continue that if they want to advance past a tough Blue Jays team to advance to the ALDS.

CJ

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