After two convincing wins in New York, the Bronx Bombers are looking to punch their ticket into the next round with a win in Minnesota tonight. A Yankees win tonight would minimize their stay in Minnesota which is probably not a bad thing in October, and it would give them as much rest as possible heading into the ALCS.
There is still a lot to be done before New York gets there though, as it’s not like this Twins team is going to lay down without a fight. Minnesota wasn’t able to steal one in New York, but defending the home turf is something they’ve done well all year long, and New York’s home field advantage this year paid off in spades for the Yankees.
Everything’s pretty much gone right for New York through two games, as they’ve won both, outscored Minnesota 18-6 in the process, and have kept the mistakes pitching-wise to a minimum against a HR-happy club like the Twins. Relying on that bloop and blast strategy is why Minnesota is here, but when HR’s tend to dry up in the playoffs, teams that are so dependant on the long ball can sometimes get hung out to dry.
Twins fans are hoping that Games 1 and 2 were merely just a case of a good team playing bad, and a return to a home-cooked meal is what will get them back on track. The Twins were 11 games over .500 at home this year, but it was the road where they did the bulk of their damage (27 games over .500), so to return home down 0-2 has to be a bit disappointing. And though the situation is more dire in a five-game set, there is always that saying that a series doesn’t “start” until the home team loses a game for Minnesota fans to fall back on right?
Well, Minnesota loses tonight the series will start and end at the same time, which would be quite the accomplishment, and as home dogs of about 30 cents, chances are this series is actually over before it really begins.
The good news for Minnesota is that they are facing a guy in Luis Severino who’s making just his fourth start of the year and still has some rust to shake off. The bad news is that it’s still Luis Severino and he’s proven in the past that he can be downright nasty when he’s pitching well. The pressure of this being the definition of a must-win game can only add to that Twins anxiety for Minnesota fans, and even with a guy like Odorizzi on the hill that’s seen his teammates put up an 8-2 SU record in his last 10 starts, it’s still hard to consider getting behind the Twins. It’s almost as if had the price opened up shorter for Minnesota, the backs against the wall, put up or shut up angle would be a bit more believable for a Twins angle.
Instead, this game opening just below 30 cents on the underdog twins to quickly being bet higher then that, suggests that the “savages” from New York are just too much for Minnesota to overcome. 18 runs in the first two games of a series against a playoff-caliber team that lined up at least one of their top two starters in those games is impressive. A year of bad luck in the health department for New York has started to crescendo on the upswing overall, and I believe you’ve pretty much got to agree with that initial line opening and early action sentiment: The Yankees are a next-level team compared to Minnesota, and playing a Minnesota style of game only works in the Yankees favor as well.
Severino being a bit rusty is only a serious concern if you believe the Yankees won’t be doing offensive damage themselves, as he won’t be long for the game regardless, and then that New York bullpen can bring the game home – or at worst, play the last handful of innings with likely a big edge over the Twins bullpen. That’s not a bad situation to be in to pay 40 cents on the dollar for, as the streak of at least one MLB playoff team getting swept in the Divisional round extends to four straight years.