Minnesota, coming off a 100-loss season in 2016, will send Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) to the mound. All the Twins have to do is win and they go on to play the Indians in the ALDS beginning later this week. "The regular season, it's kind of like spring training's over".
NY won an AL-high 51 games at home this year and have won 20 of their last 28 games going into the postseason, giving them extra confidence.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are 6-1 in their last seven during game one of a series and 3-8 in their last 11 games following an off day.
The Dodgers finished with the best record in the majors (104-58) courtesy of a strong first part of the season, when they were 61-29 by the All Star break, and would have home field advantage for the World Series if they make that far. If Santana can continue to perform at a higher level than his career averages indicate, the Twins will have a good fighting chance in this game.
Aaron Judge will be the 2017 AL Rookie of the year, and he may possibly win the AL MVP as well.
When they meet again in the 2017 playoffs, the Yankees will need just one game to end Minnesota's brief postseason run. This is the regular season now. The Yankees have played well at home all year long, boasting a 51-30 record, compared to their poor road record of 40-41.
Severino made one start agains the Twins this year, September 10th when he lasted just 3 innings. With such heavy strikeout numbers, Severino has been able to limit his number of walks issued (0.22:1 BB:K ratio) along with his home-run rate, allowing 0.97 HR/9.
It became clear that the Yankees could make the postseason within the first few weeks of the season, and they've been near the top of the AL East for nearly the entire year. Yankees are 89-33 (postseason included) against the Twins since the start of 2002, and 45-14 in the Bronx.
The Yankees are clearly the better team, starting pitcher included.
Clearly, the above head-to-head statistics paint an inconsistent story. However, right now all the slugging right fielder wants to do is help the Yankees move on to the ALDS.
Surely both of these teams are excited and proud to be where they are, but the penalty for not winning your division means the entire season will hinge on the outcome of a one-and-done wild-card playoff game.
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