Kevin Gausman to start Game 1 for Blue Jays, Pablo López will start for the Twins
Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
To the surprise of nobody, the Blue Jays named Kevin Gausman their starting pitcher for Game 1 of their Wild Card series with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Gausman was among the best pitchers in baseball this season. He posted a 3.16 ERA over 31 starts and led the American League with 237 strikeouts. Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees will surely win the Cy Young but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gausman among the finalists for the award.
Another name who will be in that conversation is Pablo López, who the Twins are starting opposite Gausman in Game 1. López was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the off-season in exchange for Luis Arráez and he became the workhorse starter the team needed. He posted a 3.66 ERA, led the Twins with 194 innings pitched, and finished right behind Gausman with 234 strikeouts.
The Twins will start Sonny Gray in Game 2, who posted the third-best ERA in baseball among starters at 2.79. The Blue Jays haven’t announced their specific plans for the latter games in the series but it’ll likely be José Berríos and Chris Bassitt taking the mound.
Bassitt is coming off of some excellent starts against the Rays and Yankees to finish the regular season but he was drilled for seven runs in four innings in his one outing against the Twins back in May. Berríos held the Twins scoreless over five-and-two-thirds innings during the regular season and has a 4.03 ERA across five starts against his former team.
Another pitcher who could figure into Toronto’s plans is Yusei Kikuchi. The Twins were much better against right-handed pitching than left-handed pitching this season, so Kikuchi might make more sense than Bassitt or Berríos. Kikuchi held the Twins to two runs over five innings back in June. Gray started for Minnesota in that game and allowed one run over five innings.
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