New York Yankees: Three Keys to Winning AL Wild Card Game

Taylor Byrd
October 4, 2017

Santana was strong away from home this season, winning 10 of those games on the road where he had an ERA of 2.71 covering 17 starts.

Chris Gimenez also homered for Minnesota and Joe Mauer went 1 for 3 with an RBI-double to finish the regular season with a.305 batting average, the first time he has topped.300 since 2013. Right-hander Luis Severino will take the hill for the Yankees while another righty in Ervin Santana will serve as Minnesota's starter. Led by rookie slugger Aaron Judge, the Yankees captured the top AL wild card with a 91-71 record.

The Minnesota Twins were surprisingly in contention for a postseason spot during the 2017 Major League Baseball regular season that concluded Sunday, and they made it. The victor of this game will take on the Central Division Champion Cleveland Indians on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for just after 8 p.m. ET. "Their crowd is definitely one of the advantages they have playing at home, but if you can take them out as soon as possible, that's great". In a one-game playoff, anything can happen.

Tigers: The offseason. They finish with a 64-98 record, their most losses since they went 43-119 in 2003.

"How many games do I pitch here?" Trailing five teams in the wild-card standings, Minnesota didn't look like a playoff team.

The pitching matchup is an interesting battle between Luis Severino and longtime ace Ervin Santana.

Slugging catcher Gary Sanchez was on the Yankees' 2015 AL wild card roster, but did not play when Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel blanked the Yanks, 3-0, at the Stadium - the last postseason appearance for Girardi's club.

"I don't think that you go up there trying to hit all three of his pitches because that's usually not a good mix", Molitor said.

"We're just going to try to treat it like we have the whole season coming here", Aaron Judge said. The Twins have the offense to do it, and it's worth noting Severino had his worst start of the season against the Twins, giving up three runs on five hits over just three innings on September 20.

Many people counted the Twins out, especially at the trade deadline, but Brian Dozier believed that they could do it. Saying at the stretch when the Twins were leading the Cleveland Indians in the division, he knew that this team has a real shot.

"Smell baseball is like the passion for the game, that game that I love since I was little". These are not the dominant Yankees of the '00s but another upstart bunch like the Twins, whose rebuilding projects led each team back to the playoffs. "Whether he's going to start or not, I still haven't inked it in yet, but I'm waiting to have him on the bench". Luis Severino pitches for the Yanks - he's 23, he averaged 97.6 miles per hour on his fastball, tops among qualified starters.

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