It’s Twins vs Blue Jays in 1st Round of MLB Playoffs After Chaotic Season Finale in AL

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have been a playoff team for awhile now but their 1st round playoff opponent has been a mystery up until Sunday, when the Toronto Blue Jays fell to the bottom of the American League playoff picture and netted the Twins in the ALWS as a result.

Astros win AL West, Twins Land Blue Jays in 1st round

It was the Houston Astros who entered Sunday as the 6-seed in the American League but their 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, combined with a Toronto Blue Jays loss vs Tampa Bay, meant a last moment season finale mix up in the AL Wildcard standings.

Related: Alex Rodriguez Will Call Minnesota Twins AL Wildcard Series

In fact, the Texas Rangers lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Seattle Mariners, so not only did Houston surpass Toronto in the Wildcard standings. They stole the AL West and a 1st round playoff bye from the Rangers, who were forced to settle for the 5-seed (2nd wildcard).

That leaves the Toronto Blue Jays as the AL’s 6-seed (3rd wildcard), meaning they will jump the border to Target Field to play the Twins in the 1st round best-of-three ALWS. The series will start on Tuesday and all three games will be broadcast at 3:38 p.m. on ESPN.

Date TimeSeriesTeamsChannel
Tuesday, Oct. 3 3:38 p.m.Game 1Twins vs Blue JaysESPN
Wednesday, Oct, 43:38 p.m.Game 2Twins vs Blue JaysESPN
**Thursday, Oct. 53:38 p.m.Game 3Twins vs Blue JaysESPN
** If Needed

Related: How to watch the Minnesota Twins in the 2023 Playoffs

Quick Facts on 2023 Toronto Blue Jays

The 2023 Toronto Blue Jays finished the season with an 89-73 record, good for 3rd place in a weird American League East that saw both the Yankees and Red Sox finish in the basement of the division.

Bo Bichette is Toronto’s best hitter (.307 BA, .812 OPS, 20 HR, 72 RBI) but he hates walking (26 BB, 114 K on season). He’s surrounded by a lot of all or nothing bats including Matt Chapman, Vlad Guerrero Jr, Brandon Belt and Carlos Correa’s former World Series teammate, George Springer.

RkPosNameAgeGPARHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
OPS+TB
1DHBrandon Belt*3510239952184261140.251.368.482.850134161
2SSBo Bichette2513459668207326114.307.339.473.812123268
31BVladimir Guerrero Jr.2415668278269467100.264.345.444.788117267
43BMatt Chapman3014058166175462165.240.330.424.755108216
5CFKevin Kiermaier*33129408588362986.265.322.419.741104155
6RFGeorge Springer3315468387217260125.258.327.405.732102248
72BWhit Merrifield3414458766116736100.275.320.386.70695209
8UTCavan Biggio*28110333529394088.232.336.368.70596105
9CAlejandro Kirk24123422348434245.250.334.358.69293133
10LFDaulton Varsho*2615757665206045135.220.286.391.67786204
Team Totals28.916161757381876995471296.256.328.416.7441052296
Baseball-Reference.com

The Blue Jays rank 6th in the MLB in OPS and 5th in batting average but they’ve also struckout 3rd most in the league this season. Still, as a whole, Toronto has one of the more potent lineups in Major League Baseball. It will be a huge test for the Minnesota Twins pitching staff, both the starters and bullpen.

Related: Royce Lewis Injury Could Cost Byron Buxton a Spot on Twins’ Wildcard Roster

Toronto pitching

The Toronto starting staff is led by four workhorses, including Chris Bassett (200 IP), Kevin Gausman (185 IP) and former Twin, Jose Berrios (189.2 IP), who has had a big time bounceback season, after a disappointing start to his career in Toronto.

RkPosNameAgeWLERAGGSCGSHOIPHRBBSOHBPERA+FIPWHIPH9HR9BB9SO9
1SPChris Bassitt341683.60333311200.02859186121174.281.1757.91.32.78.4
2SPJosé Berríos2911123.65323200189.2255218491154.001.1868.21.22.58.7
3SPKevin Gausman321293.16313100185.0195523731332.971.1787.90.92.711.5
4SPYusei Kikuchi*321163.86323200167.2274818141094.121.2708.91.42.69.7
Baseball-Reference.com

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan