What Can the Yankees Expect from the Minnesota Twins?
For many years, the Minnesota Twins have been that playoff team that the Yankees always beat. It is a fair assessment to make, as the Yanks have taken the last five playoff series against the Twins. But this Twins team could be the toughest match-up for the Bombers.
The Yankees finished the 2019 season against the Twins 4-2, a respectable record against a very solid squad. This included taking two out of three in Minneapolis in a series that saw a combined 57 runs being scored between the two offensive juggernauts. However, don’t let the season series record dictate the Twins.
Minnesota is coming off one of the best seasons the franchise has ever seen. They finished the season at 101-61, taking the American League Central by storm. They broke the record for most home runs in a single season with 307, narrowly beating out the Yankees 306. Minnesota has obvious power and have received contributions from nearly every player on the field. Five players had 30 or more home runs, whereas nine had 15 or more. The Yankees pitching must be aware of this situation.
It is not just about the power at the plate. The Twins also invested into their starting rotation with Jake Odorizzi, Jose Berrios, and Kyle Gibson as the top three starters. For the playoffs three pitchers is all you need to compete in each of the series, and the Twins have their three key parts (although the more the better). The Yanks could very much have their hands full with these starters.
If there was to be a “weak” spot for the Twins, many would probably say it is the bullpen. The bullpen ERA was the 10th best in baseball at 4.17, compared to the Yankees 9th best ERA at 4.08. It is not necessarily a weak spot for the Twins, but it is something the Bombers should look to take advantage of. After all, it is “go big or go home” season, so the Yankees must take advantage of the weakest links.
For the Yankees, this is not the same Twins team that fans want to face. After finishing the season 1-4, the Yankees do not have the momentum that they would want to ideally have. The bats did not come alive in the last four losses, and good pitching shut them down. Game 1 could be the game that sets the tone for the entire series, possibly even the rest of the playoffs for either team. The Yanks will look to heat up the bats, but also to get good innings out of their pitching.
Game 1 takes place at Yankee Stadium on Friday, October 4th, with a start time of 7:07 pm. Game 2 will follow on Saturday, October 5th, at 5:07 pm.