GDB +2.0: Jose Berrios looks to lift Toronto Blue Jays in evening up Wild Card series against Minnesota Twins
Photo credit:Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing2 months ago
It’s do-or-die for the Toronto Blue Jays as they take on the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon.
The Jays dropped game one of the three-game series Tuesday as two home runs by Royce Lewis propelled the Twins to their first playoff win in nearly two decades.
For Jose Berrios, who takes the mound for Toronto in the critical game, it affords him the opportunity to “get back” at his old team. Drafted by the Twins 32nd overall in 2012, Berrios broke into the big league spending his first five-and-a-half seasons in the Twin Cities before he was traded to the Jays.
Since he joined Toronto, Berrios has gone up against the Twins posting a 3-1 record and 4.03 ERA across 29 innings pitched. What’s interesting is that in those games, Berrios’ K/9 rate has risen from his 8.6 average with the Jays, up to 10.9. As I wrote about yesterday, that will be a key against the Twins, who struck out at a league-worst 26.6 per cent over the course of the regular season.
Behind Berrios, it’s all hands on deck with guys like Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi as options out of the bullpen. Kikuchi likely offers the highest upside in this matchup given the Twins’ limp offence against lefty’s this season.
Minnesota will trot out Sonny Gray on their mound, who has gone 4-4 in 14 career starts against the Jays posting a 2.91 ERA. Across five innings pitched against Toronto earlier this season, he allowed one earned run, five hits and issued two walks.
Both clubs are running the same lineups they brought to the pitch on Tuesday in game one, but Matt Wallner moves ahead of Ryan Jeffers in the Twins’ lineup.
First pitch: 4:38 p.m EST — Sportsnet, Sportsnet 650.
Moneyline: TOR +120; MIN -139.
*Odds at the time of publishing. Odds subject to change.
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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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