This season, the Minnesota Twins have hit the most home runs of literally any other team in Major League Baseball history. And yet, it simply doesn’t matter. The New York Yankees still are the majority stake owner of the Twins. Through the first two games of the American League Division Series, the Twins have shown next to no hope of winning this series as the Yankees have dominated to the tune of a combined 18-6 score. It has been a Cinderella season for the Twins, but it’s starting to look like the clock is striking midnight in the form of a sweep.
The Yankees are going to send Luis Severino to the mound for just his fourth start of the 2019 season. After being out for 90 percent of the regular season due to shoulder and lat injuries, Severino came back to have a great end of the season. He started three games at the end of September and was pretty dominant in those starts. In a total of 12 innings, he has a 1.50 ERA and has struck out 17 batters.
Not to mention that the Yankees have a fully rested bullpen for this game. So, ideally, Severino goes only three to four innings as he still works back from the injury, and then Aaron Boone can throw the kitchen sink at the Twins out of the bullpen.
The Twins are going to call on Jake Odorizzi to try and avoid elimination in Game 3. Odorizzi had a solid season, finishing 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA. That marked a career high in wins for him, and his lowest ERA in a season in four years. Odorizzi has been very good since mid-July, where he has allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts. That 13th start where he allowed more than three, however? It came at home against the New York Yankees.
That day at Target Field, he allowed nine earned runs on 10 hits in just four innings. He has also faced the Yankees one other time this season, on May 4 in the Bronx. On that day, he pitched a terrific six shutout innings en route to getting the win.
It has been well documented this postseason how poorly the Minnesota Twins perform against the Yanks. The Bronx Bombers have won an MLB-record 12 straight postseason games against the Twins. Going further than that, the Twins have lost a record 15 straight postseason games no matter the opponent.
To make matters worse for the Twins, teams that have gone up 2-0 in a best-of-five division series have gone on to win the series via sweep 60 percent of the time and win the series in any fashion 90 percent of the time.
Batters To Watch
The MVP race will come down to Mike Trout and Alex Bregman, as it should. But someone who should get at least a look is DJ LeMahieu. He has been the sole driving force of this Yankees lineup all season after the injury to Miguel Andujar (Yes, that’s right. He wasn’t even supposed to be the starter to begin the year.).
LeMahieu’s great regular season has carried over to the postseason, as he continues to be one of the most clutch hitters in the league. Through two games of the ALDS, he is 4-for-9 with two doubles, a home run, and four runs scored.
If the Twins have any hope of winning this series, their big bats need to start getting hot. In particular, Eddie Rosario. The cleanup hitter is just 1-for-9 this series so far with four strikeouts. In the regular season, Rosario hit .276 with 32 homers, 109 RBI and 28 doubles. The Twins need to start scoring this series, and Rosario getting hot would help a great deal.
I really want to say Minnesota will win just to give their fans a good moment at home in the playoffs after a great season. But, I know it just won’t happen. Severino has looked terrific since he’s returned, and the Yankees have a full bullpen at their disposal. I just don’t see how the Twins get this one done. Take the Yankees and the sweep. On to the ALCS.