A different season to say the least has come to an end in Western New York, as the regular campaign has concluded and the Toronto Blue Jays won't be playing their home games at Buffalo anymore.
Charlie Montoyo's squad concluded their last series at Sahlen Field by defeating the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series. The team finished as the third best team in the AL East with a 32-28 record, and they went 17-9 while playing at Buffalo.
Toronto’s playoff run was been powered by great performances from veterans Hyun-jin Ryu (7.0) and Teoscar Hernández (4.4), an elite bullpen (fifth in WAR) and good fortune. With 2.9 more wins than expected based on run differential, the Jays have been baseball’s third-luckiest team behind Miami and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Toronto will face the Rays in the best of five American League Wild Card Series at the Tropicana Field in Miami.
This week's Blue Jays vs. Rays wild card series at Tropicana Field:— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) September 28, 2020
Game 1 — Tuesday, Sept. 29 @ 5:00pm ET
Game 2 — Wednesday, Sept. 30 @ 4:00pm ET
Game 3 — Thursday, Oct. 1 @ TBA (if necessary)
Ryu, who's the team’s best starter, was brilliant this year; his 2.69 ERA and 3.01 FIP ranked ninth and 12th, respectively, among qualified starters. The Japanese left-hander is expected to start Game 1 while Taijuan Walker hopes to be on the mound for Game 2.
The Jays have some depth in their line-up including Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Randal Grichuk, an even though Toronto was 4-6 against Tampa Bay this season, four of their losses were by only one run.
"They’re looking forward to the challenge and I love that about our kids," said Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo. "They really want it."