The Final Decision
Taking into account the fact that Ryu has struggled somewhat in his final few starts of the season, along with his gaudy numbers against the Twins, he should be the odd man out in the rotation. As a result, this would be the ideal rotation for the Blue Jays based on the analysis above.
Game 1 starter – José Berríos
Game 2 starter – Yusei Kikuchi
Game 3 starter (if necessary) – Kevin Gausman
Berríos has fared well this season both on the road and against the Twins as he will no doubt be pumped up and be at his best to face his former team in the playoffs. Kikuchi has shown to be reliable on the road this season, along with his strong career record against his opponent. And of course, Gausman is a big-game pitcher so despite having a sub-par record against the Twins, his ability to pitch effectively on the biggest stage should enable him to fare well when called upon. Bassitt can serve as a long reliever out of the bullpen, since his numbers on the road and against the Twins are not favorable.
But of course, that’s just purely based on statistics and analytics, as time and time again, the Jays have been highly scrutinized on it. Therefore, when common sense prevails, the most probable starting rotation that the Jays will utilize is the following:
Game 1 starter – Kevin Gausman
Game 2 starter – José Berríos
Game 3 starter (if necessary) – Chris Bassitt
Gausman starting Game 1 is a no-brainer, as he is the ace of the staff and built to be the big game pitcher that he is. Berríos should get the nod over Bassitt for Game 2 for the reasons mentioned above already. Bassitt, despite his scary stats shown above, should be the do-or-die Game 3 pitcher if necessary just based on the fact that he was a big difference maker for the Jays down the stretch this season. Kikuchi deserves to be part of the Jays’ bullpen, so that he can piggyback one of the starters in event one of them has a short outing. As for Ryu, best bet is he will be left off the ALWC roster.
So as the Jays get ready for the Twins on Tuesday, look for Gausman to lead the way as the Jays look to avenge last year’s early exit from the postseason. Let’s go Blue Jays!