The Minnesota Twins have lost a record 18 straight playoff games. That devastating number is not only the longest streak in baseball, but it is the longest streak in major American sports history. After a two-year playoff hiatus, the Twins are back in the MLB Postseason, and they have their eyes set on ending one of the worst records in sports. The Twins are the three-seed, meaning they will play the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL Wild Card Series. Below is all of the information you need to know before the series' first pitch.
When and where is the AL Wild Card Series?
The AL Wild Card Series is a best-of-three series that will be played in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Target Field. Every game will start at 4:38 p.m. ET on back-to-back-to-back days starting on Oct. 3.
How to watch Blue Jays vs. Twins
ESPN will broadcast every game in the series. The games can be live streamed on fuboTV. You can also watch the action on MLB.TV.
Dates: Game one: Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 4:38 p.m. ET. – Game two: Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 4:38 p.m. ET. – Game three: Thursday, Oct. 5 at 4:38 p.m. ET
Location: Target Field — Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV channel: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)
Odds: Twins -124 to win the series
Blue Jays storylines
Although the Twins are the higher seed and the Blue Jays snuck into the postseason as the lowest-seeded American League team, Toronto actually has a better record than Minnesota.
Game one will likely be an epic pitcher's duel between two of the best pitchers in baseball. The Blue Jays ace is Kevin Gausman. The starting pitcher had a 3.16 ERA and 237 strikeouts over 185 innings this year. Toronto also has Chris Bassitt and Jose Berrios on their staff, two great pitchers with sub 3.70 ERAs.
The Blue Jays don't expect the Twins to get a lot of hits, but if they do, Bo Bichette is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. Bichette has also had an incredible season hitting the ball at the top of the Blue Jays lineup. He batted .306 in the regular season, one of only nine players above the .300 mark.
Toronto is more talented than your average six-seed. Just a couple of years ago, a six-seed wouldn't have even been in the playoffs. Luckily, the new playoff rules changed that, because the Blue Jays are stacked with talent that deserves to be seen at the biggest stages. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is one of the most exciting young players in baseball. The 24-year-old has been a home run leader, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove winner in his young career. He was one of four Blue Jays to smack 20-plus homers this year. Bichette, Daulton Varsho, and George Springer were the others.
The Minnesota Twins won the AL Central, but because they were the worst Division winner in the American League, they are stuck playing in the Wild Card Series. This isn't all bad for the Twins. Last season, some of the teams that had a bye-round struggled with rust in the Division Series. The Twins won't have that problem, and they even get to play all three of their games at home. Still, beating the Blue Jays will be no easy task.
The Twins were one of the rare teams to get the better of Gausman this season. The team scored seven runs against 10 innings of his work this season. This is because of a deep lineup that doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. None of their starting lineup is elite, but they had 12 players hit double-digit home runs this year.
Minnesota's bigger concern is the health of these position players. Byron Buxton has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and he, along with Carlos Correa, Royce Lewis, and Joey Gallo, all ended the season on the injured list. All four have a chance to help early in the playoffs, but the playoffs are not the ideal time to reintegrate yourself into live action.
Minnesota may have to rely on their pitching. They have one of the few staffs that can match Toronto's pitching production. Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray were both All-Stars in 2023, and Gray is one of the best number-twos in the league. Gray had the better ERA (2.79) of the two, but Lopez will likely get the game-one start.
This is the best chance that the Twins have had to end their playoff wins drought in a long time. Not only are they the higher seed and at home, but they don't have to play the New York Yankees, a team that always gives them trouble in the postseason. Win or lose, the streak will be a big talking point in this series, but it won't necessarily impact the overall outcome of the series. Who do you think wins between the Blue Jays and the Twins?