We’re just a few hours away from postseason baseball, as the New York Yankees play host to the Minnesota Twins in the 2017 American League Wild Card game.
The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins are set to kick things off in this year’s American League Wild Card Game Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Minnesota is back in the postseason for the first time in seven years while the Yankees are back in it for the first time since their Wild Card game appearance in 2015 when they were eliminated by the Houston Astros.
Ervin Santana will get the ball for the Twins, as he looks to put the icing on what has been a tremendous season for the 34-year-old veteran. He went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA in 33 regular season starts, including a solid tail-end to the year in which he went 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 starts in August and September.
Santana has made nine career postseason appearance, but only his third start. His first start came against the Yankees back in Game 5 of the 2005 ALDS when the righty was a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He held the Bombers to three runs over 5.1 innings and eliminated them from the playoffs.
For New York, it will be Luis Severino on the bump looking to put the Yankees in the ALDS for the first time since 2012.
The 23-year-old has come up huge as of late, allowing one earned run-or-fewer in 10-of-14 starts since the All-Star Break, going 9-2 with a 2.28 ERA over the stretch. He also leads the Majors with 16 starts with one run allowed-or-fewer this season, tying the third-most such starts by a Yankee in a single season since 1913.
Severino last faced the Twins on Sept. 20, allowing three runs over three innings of work.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 3, 2017
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) October 3, 2017
How To Tune In:
- Time: 8:09 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, ESPN Radio
- Online Stream: Watch ESPN
- Venue: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Matchup To Watch: Greg Bird vs Ervin Santana
On Aug. 19, 2015, Yankees’ first baseman Greg Bird took Ervin Santana deep twice for his first two Major League home runs. They were both two-run shots and led to an eventual 4-3 Yankees’ win.
Winning key matchups can make a huge difference and Bird’s success against Santana is certainly one that should have your attention throughout the contest.
Yankees’ X-Factor: Chad Green
No one can shorten the game like Joe Girardi can this postseason and Chad Green is a weapon to keep an eye out in this winner-take-all contest.
This season, the right-hander became one of eight relievers in Yankees’ history to record 100 strikeouts in relief in a season and finished the year with a 41 percent strikeout rate — the third best rate in the sport.
With the ability to give some innings, expect Green to play a huge role in bridging the gap from Severino to the back-end of the bullpen.
No Sano, Don’t Ya Know?
All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano was left off the Twins’ AL Wild Card playoff game roster as he is still recovering from an injured left shin.
Sano missed 38 games before returning as a pinch hitter on Friday and penciled in the lineup as the designated hitter for Saturday and Sunday. The 24-year-old went 1-for-8 with three strikeouts in his return and finished his campaign with a .264/.352/.507 slash line and 28 home runs.
It seems like everytime Minnesota makes it into the postseason, the Yankees are waiting for them to knock them out.
New York has the Twins in the American League Division Series four times from 2003-10 and is responsible for all but one of their postseason exits in that span. Their 90-33 record against the Twins since 2002 also marks the best record by one opponent over another in that span.
No Place Like Home:
Playoff baseball is back in the Bronx, where the Yankees have strived at in 2017.
In their last 16 games at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees are 13-3 and have won six straight home series. They finished the 2017 season at a 51-30 clip at home, marking the best home record in the AL.
Prediction: 6-3, Yankees
Severino is not going to shut the Twins down, but three runs over five innings and some run support coming from a Gary Sanchez bomb will be enough for Green to bridge the gap on over to Dellin Betances, David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman. Don’t be surprised to see CC Sabathia get some lefty-on-lefty action out of the bullpen at some point as well.
This Day In Yankees’ History:
On Oct. 3, 2006, Derek Jeter went 5-for-5 with two doubles and a home run during the Yankees’ 8-4 win over Detroit in Game 1 of the ALDS. Jeter is one of three players in MLB history to go
5-for-5 in a postseason game, along with Carl Crawford and Marquis Grissom.