Blue Jays-Twins 2023 Wild Card Collection Sport 1 FAQ

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The street to the World Collection begins with the Battle for the North.

The chaos of the American League West and Wild Card races lastly resolved on Sunday to arrange what had gave the impression to be an unlikely border battle between Canada and the Higher Midwest within the Wild Card Collection — however don’t anticipate the customary regional politeness to tinge this showdown between two extremely motivated groups and fanbases.

The Blue Jays have urgency to advance previous the primary spherical of the playoffs for the primary time since 2016 with the star energy of their younger core; the Twins are, nicely, underneath much more stress to lastly finish their record-breaking 18-game postseason shedding streak that has shrouded the franchise like a darkish cloud because it started in 2004.

It’s the pitching staffs that determine to outline this sequence. Each groups had loftier expectations of their offenses coming into this 12 months — however the arms have paved the best way for the success of each Minnesota and Toronto, who completed the season ranked first and fourth within the AL, respectively, in runs allowed in the course of the common season.

As a result of the Twins had nothing to play for within the remaining weeks of the common season and the Blue Jays secured their playoff berth on Saturday night time, each groups can have their finest beginning pitchers totally rested and prepared for battle — power in opposition to power — starting with a high-octane Sport 1 showdown between Kevin Gausman and Pablo López, the highest two strikeout pitchers within the AL.

Right here’s the whole lot you must learn about this matchup.

When is the sport and the way can I watch it?

First pitch is about for 4:38 p.m. ET/3:38 p.m. CT on Tuesday, and it is going to be televised within the U.S. on ESPN. In Canada, the video games shall be aired on Sportsnet with the radio name out there on Sportsnet 590 THE FAN.

All sequence can be found within the US on MLB.TV with authentication to a collaborating Pay TV supplier. Video games can be found dwell internationally (besides in Canada). Full sport archives shall be out there roughly 90 minutes after the sport ends.

Who’re the beginning pitchers?

Blue Jays: RHP Kevin Gausman
Gausman is the employees ace, with out query, and coming off one other elite season with a 3.16 ERA and 237 strikeouts over 185 innings. The Twins had been the uncommon crew to get to Gausman this season, although, scoring seven runs over 10 innings (6.30 ERA). Most attention-grabbing from these numbers is that Gausman walked 9 Twins batters between two begins, and whereas his splitter could be a devastating pitch, Minnesota did nicely to put off it in 2023 and drive Gausman to regulate.

“They’re a very good lineup, they usually’re right here for a purpose,” Gausman stated. “This lineup, particularly, can beat you in numerous other ways. They’ve acquired numerous good, younger guys who can actually swing the bat and put the ball in play. I performed with Donovan Solano. I do know what he’s able to — a very skilled hitter. Prime to backside, they may give you a tough time with numerous left-handed hitters. When you have a look at the numbers, they’ve been robust on me my complete profession.”

Twins: RHP Pablo López
The Twins traded for the right-hander they already seen as an awesome pitcher and taught him methods to throw a sweeper — and he responded with an Opening Day nod, a profession excessive in innings pitched (194) and essentially the most strikeouts (234) by any Twins pitcher since his idol Johan Santana in 2007. He earned a four-year contract extension alongside the best way to place him on the helm of this rotation for years to come back — and for this foray into October.

What are the beginning lineups?

Blue Jays: Over the previous week, the Blue Jays appear to have discovered a recipe they like on the high of their order. That includes George Springer main off adopted by Brandon Belt, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. The considering right here is to get Bichette as many alternatives as attainable with runners on base, and the early outcomes have backed up the logic.

Twins: There’s acquired to be a minimum of some sense of aid throughout the Twins’ decision-making group that they don’t line as much as face a left-handed beginning pitcher, since their platoon-heavy batting order is noticeably worse — on paper and in apply — in opposition to southpaws.

They’re at their finest in opposition to righties, when Edouard Julien can set the desk from the leadoff spot and each Alex Kirilloff and Matt Wallner can man beginning roles. Because the Twins deemed each Carlos Correa (plantar fasciitis in left foot) and Royce Lewis (left hamstring pressure) wholesome sufficient to come back off the IL, right here’s how Minnesota will line up for Sport 1:

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

Blue Jays: This ought to be a bonus for the Blue Jays by means of their postseason run. They’ve the top-end expertise of Jordan Romano and Jordan Hicks, who can be utilized interchangeably because the nearer and setup man, with Erik Swanson as a superb choice proper in entrance of them.

It’s Toronto’s depth that’s most spectacular, although. Tim Mayza has been among the finest lefties in baseball this season, Chad Inexperienced has recaptured his previous kind on the good time and Yimi García could be a sturdy choice within the center innings. The Blue Jays’ starters are sturdy, however there shall be no hesitation to go to the bullpen early as a matter of technique, not merely a response.

Twins: The Twins had the uncommon luxurious of basically remaking half of their bullpen for the higher within the remaining month of the season, with Louie Varland, Chris Paddack, Kenta Maeda and Brock Stewart all arriving as fortifications to present Minnesota arguably its deepest employees, stuff-wise, from entrance to again in latest reminiscence.

Jhoan Duran will get the ninth, with Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar and Stewart as his major setup males. The center innings and lower-leverage conditions could possibly be coated by Emilio Pagán and rookie left-hander Kody Funderburk. Any state of affairs that includes bulk innings will doubtless go to Paddack and Maeda. Varland has seemed significantly spectacular since his transition to aid and will issue into any and all the above conditions.

Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have been remarkably wholesome this season. Bichette and Guerrero every handled accidents by means of August and September, however Toronto has a wholesome roster and pitching employees coming into this sequence. The one damage state of affairs to look at for the Blue Jays is Danny Jansen, who’s within the early levels of working his method again from a damaged finger firstly of September, however Jansen will solely be an element if the Blue Jays make a deep run.

Twins: As a result of the Twins had their division title and seed all however locked in nicely upfront of the postseason, they had been in a position to deal with the ultimate week of the common season basically as Spring Coaching and get all of their pitchers lined up and totally rested.

Their major concern is with Lewis. He could possibly be restricted to DH duties solely and virtually definitely won’t be working at full bore as a result of hamstring pressure he sustained lower than two weeks in the past on Sept. 19. The Twins want his bat and his power, although. Correa (plantar fasciitis) and Polanco (proper ankle soreness) ought to be good to go.

Who’s scorching, who’s not?

Blue Jays: Belt’s latest return from the IL (again) has had such a constructive influence on this lineup, and he homered in back-to-back video games on the latest homestand. Varsho launched a pair, too, and whereas this season has been a disappointment offensively, he’s an elite defender who can create chaos on the bases.

Past Guerrero and Bichette, although, Biggio has been one of the worthwhile gamers on this roster down the stretch. He’s shaken off a gradual begin to the 12 months and appears the most effective he has in his large league profession on the dish alongside some rock-solid defensive play at a number of positions.

Twins: Lewis has been on hearth basically all season, however he went nuts in September with six homers, 23 RBIs and a .313/.410/.612 line in 18 video games earlier than his hamstring damage — which made it all of the extra crucial for the Twins to get him again. Wallner and Willi Castro have additionally had monster months on the plate to shut out the 12 months.

Nearly the whole crew has been scorching within the season’s remaining month; solely Taylor (64 wRC+ in September after his return from damage) has been markedly beneath common as a hitter. On the pitching facet, Sonny Grey has been excellent with a 2.03 ERA for the reason that begin of August, whereas Joe Ryan (5.28 ERA in September) has been a little bit of a priority.



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