The Minnesota Twins are going to the ALDS against the New York Yankees. Following a terrific regular season, the Twins get a ticket to face the Yankees in the first-round of the playoffs. That sounds like a daunting task, but the Twins should not be scared of the Yankees. The Yankees are not some unbeatable juggernaut. Money will pile up on Yankees’ bets, but it wouldn’t be a mega upset if the Twins were to win. In fact, I don’t think this is a bad matchup for the Twins out of the gates in October.
The Twins aren’t going to be able to avoid an elite rotation if they get past the Yankees, but the ALDS does not present an elite challenge against the Yankees’ pitching staff. Aaron Boone has been debating going with an unconventional look in the postseason. They could go with a bulk reliever look instead of giving a starter extensive work. J.A. Happ has been on his horse and pitching better recently, but they were hoping to have a hot Luis Severino going into October. Severino has been off the mark and will now be forced to flip a switch in the ALDS.
Knowing that, the Twins have an offense who could exploit the deficiencies on the Yankees’ roster. The Twins have had one of the best offenses in the 2019 season, so they have the power to do it. I don’t know if the Twins pull it off, but they certainly have a better chance than a lot of people believe.
Before then, though, the Twins must conclude the regular season on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. Martin Perez is scheduled to get the ball for the last outing of the regular season. He will be looking for some momentum after struggling a bit recently. Perez will be up against Jorge Lopez of the Royals. Head below for our free Twins vs. Royals pick.
Minnesota Twins vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
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For the Twins as a team this isn’t the most important game. They obviously have more important things to worry about against the Yankees coming up next week. But who should view this as an important game is Martin Perez. Perez has looked good at times and pretty bad in other moments. In that regard, he’s been inconsistent and a very hot and cold pitcher. When he’s feeling it, Perez can be a really productive pitcher. However, look out below in the seats in the outfield when his arm is off.
Perez has allowed 3 or fewer runs in five of his last eight outings, but in those three games he didn’t, the opposing offense pegged him for 7, 5, and 5 earned runs. In a lot of instances, it’s been all or nothing with Perez. He will be looking to improve his ERA of 5.13 and 1.52 WHIP going into the season. A bulk reliever game when Perez is scheduled to pitch in the postseason would be the best idea. But who knows, maybe Perez finds his stroke in the postseason and they him pitch two or three extra innings.
He was awful in his most recent appearance, which came against the Royals. Perez was tagged for 5 earned runs and 8 hits in 2.1 innings. I can see him getting back on track to a degree, though. Or at least good enough to allow the offense to go to work against Jorge Lopez. Lopez goes into Sunday with an ERA of 6.35 and 1.50 WHIP in 117.2 innings.
It’s been a porous season, especially at home where he’s gotten hammered for an 8.79 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 42 innings of work. The Twins KO’d him for 7 earned runs in their most recent showing against Lopez. With a bit of a layoff between today and Game 1 of the ALDS, look for the Twins to play to win on Sunday against the Royals. A bad showing in the season finale could leave a dirty taste in their mouth going into this week. However, I don’t see it happening, with the Twins taking care of Lopez en route to a 7-4 or 6-4 win Sunday afternoon.