The Blue Jays really have an embarrassment of riches in the starting rotation department. Personally, I don't think any of the four would be a bad choice to start game one in Cleveland.
The Jays seem to be trying to decide between Marco Estrada and Marcus Stroman, but any of the four would be rested. Let's run through the choices:
- Marco Estrada: He was amazing in game one of the ALDS, 8.1 innings of 4 hit ball. He came within a couple of outs of a shutout. And he was terrific in his playoff starts last year. Over his last three starts of the regular season, he alled 2 earned runs and 9 hits in 19 innings. He seems totally recovered from his back troubles, or, at least has learned to deal with them. Marco's been the definition of a big game pitcher for us.
- J.A. Happ: As much as wins aren't the be all end all, a 20-4 record is impressive. His start in the ALDS wasn't great, he fought through 5 inning, giving up 9 hits but just 1 run. He gave up 2 earned runs in each of hit last 5 regular season starts, for a 2.84 ERA.
- Aaron Sanchez: Hard to argue that the AL ERA leader shouldn't get an important start, if he's rested. He would be right on regular rest. His start Monday wasn't great, but then, he pitched 7 innings of 2-hit ball against the Red Sox in a very important last game of the season. In each of his last three starts of the season, he allowed just 1 earned, for a 1.42 ERA.
- Marcus Stroman: Last pitched in the Wild Card game, going 6 innings, allowing 2 earned off 4 hits, with 6 strikeouts. He's the most rested starter, you might not want him getting rusty. He was 0-5 in September, but that was mostly because we didn't score for him, he had a 3.41 ERA in the month.