Our writers share their thoughts on the Yankees vs Twins American League Division Series :
Sean Oldread – The Yankees will end up coming out on top in this series. Minnesota, despite having a historic season at the plate, lacks the depth or pitching the Yankees have. The Twins have a very solid 1-2 in their rotation with All Stars, Jose Berrios, and former Ray, Jake Odorizzi, but both of them lack experience. Odorizzi has never pitched in a postseason game, and Berrios has one start where he was shelled by the Yankees, giving up 3 runs in 3 innings, back in the 2017 Wild Card game. But it’s not just the pitching, many of their starting nine have never played a game past the Wild Card. The Twins lack postseason experience which will show at points during this series. The dangerous thing about the Twins is they have zero expectations. No one picked them to win their division, many aren’t picking them to beat the Yankees, a team with no expectations is looking to prove they deserve to play with the big dogs of the MLB. Ultimately this won’t be enough. Expect the Yankees to score early and often. Final Prediction: Yankees in 4.
Lincoln MItchell – The Yankees, but it will take five games.
Patrick Gunn – This Division Series has a chance to be something special. In terms of lineups, this is a pretty close race, as indicated by the home run battle that took place this year. Both teams have extreme power and plenty of muscle to flex in the batters box. I’d actually give the slight edge in offense to the Twins, given that their stars are a tad healthier than the Bombers and their overall diversity and lack of strikeouts. That being said, this series will be decided by the pitchers – or, who will allow fewer runs. The Yankees’ bullpen is, statistically speaking, actually much closer to the Twins bullpen than most think, which is more a complement for Minnesota. The Yank’s pen has a 7.5 WAR, while the Twins are right behind them at 7.3, second and third in MLB respectively. That being said, the Yankees are much better strikeout artists (10.2 K/9 for New York compared to 9.7 K/9 for Minnesota) and the Yankees have been dragged down by an abysmal first month for Chad Green and weak middle relievers that most likely will not be making the playoffs. Their top group dwarfs the Twins. Even as far as rotations are concerned, given that Paxton is healthy and ready to go, I’d take New York. Tanaka has been great in the postseason last year, Severino looks solid, Haps has fared much better over the past month (1.65 ERA in September, 28 K in 27.1 innings, only 2 home runs allowed) and Sabathia has some extra motivation to let it lose in the bullpen. The Twins, meanwhile, seem to be trending down majorly in the rotation, with Jose Berrios regressing in the second half (4.64 ERA), former Yankee Michael Pineda getting suspended, and Martin Perez and Kyle Gibson pitching poorly overall. The only starter trending up is Jake Odorizzi, and even he declined in the second half despite solid peripherals. That’s not even taking into account the season series, in which the Yankees berated the Twin’s pitching staff. Overall, without taking the Yankees’ postseason history with the Twins into consideration, I have to take New York in this series. They’re just the better overall team, and an ever so slightly difference in lineups is not going to make the difference.
Jacob Gaba – This may be a bit of a hot take, but I think that I’m the ALDS all of the injuries will finally catch up to the Yankees. They’ll have to—and will—rely on a very well-rested bullpen. I’m going with Twins in five, but I sure hope I’m wrong.
Mike Whiteman – The Yankees will win the series in four games.
Paul Semendinger – The Yankees will win in five games. It will be five very tense games. It won’t be fun. There will be lots of angst. The Twins worry me. The good news is that in Game 5, Didi Gregorius will hit an upper deck bomb in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Yankees the margin of victory. That will be fun!
John Rizzo – The Yankees in five. The teams will split each others home field advantage, but the Yankees put it away at home in Game 5.
Phil Cashier – I love real risky predictions so I’ll make one out of left field — well actually, out of 1B/DH. This series will depend on Luke Voit. If he doesn’t play, Minnesota will win. If he does play, he will 4 HRs, one each in the first 2 Yankee wins and two in the deciding game.
Derek McAdam – I know what you’re thinking! How could I possibly say this? The biggest question facing the Yankees is if the bats are going to come alive. Frankly, they got a taste of playoff pitching in four out of the last five games of the regular season. They lost all four of those starts against very good pitching. Good pitching is what wins playoff games, and the Yanks will have their hands full with the Twins rotation. I believe the Twins slip by the Bombers winning the series 3-2 and advance to the ALCS.
Andy Singer – Normally, I like to use advanced statistics to justify my arguments, but this isn’t one of those situations. This is a short series, and I’m going to go with my gut. Both teams feature powerful offenses that can change games with single swings. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the Yankees’ relative weakness in the starting pitching department, but I look at the guys the Twins are going to put on the bump, and I see a group that fails to match the Yankees.
The Twins won’t end their playoff struggles against the Yanks this year. I think the Yankees will survive to the next round, beating the Twins in 4 games.
Frankie Mandile – The ALDS will pin a pair of 100-game winners against each other. The Twins got here on the strength of the long ball, as did the Yankees. Minnesota will send Jose Berrios to the mound in Game 1. Although this will be his first career postseason start, he is no stranger to the Yankees. Berrios came on in relief during the 2017 Wild Card game and ultimately took the loss, allowing three runs (two courtesy of an Aaron Judge home run). Other Yankees with success against the Twins’ starter include Brett Gardner (4-for-9) and Didi Gregorius (3-for-6). The Yankees will counter with James Paxton for Game 1. The left-hander has a 3.35 ERA at home this season, and has been New York’s best starter the second half of the season. With a combined 613 home runs on the season between these two teams, the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium will certainly come into play. The team that can limit the long ball will have an easier path to the ALCS. On the injury front, it looks as though Edwin Encarnacion and Max Kepler will ready to go tonight. Encarnacion has been dealing with a strained left oblique, an injury that kept him sidelined for the final two weeks of the regular season. Twins’ outfielder Max Kepler was also sidelined for the final two weeks of the regular season while dealing with a nagging shoulder injury. Both power hitters were catalysts for their respective clubs for most of the season and their effectiveness coming off injury could have a lot to say about the outcome of this series. The Yankees went 4-2 head-to-head against the Twins in 2019, and I expect that success to continue into the postseason. My prediction is that the Yankees take this series 3-2.