"In a three-game series, the goal is to win two of them," manager Charlie Montoyo said, according to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet. "So, putting our ace in the middle makes sense to us for several reasons."
Shoemaker has made only one start since Aug. 21 due to a right lat strain. He allowed one run on three hits in three innings of work against the New York Yankees on Sept. 21.
The 34-year-old has looked fairly strong against the Rays this season. He owns a 3.60 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 17 strikeouts in 15 innings over three starts versus Tampa.
Shoemaker could be in line for an abbreviated outing if he isn't fully stretched out, with the Blue Jays calling upon someone like left-hander Robbie Ray to piggyback off the veteran hurler.
Taijuan Walker will toe the rubber if the series requires a third game.