I thought the last month would never end. We’re finally to the postseason, and some edge of your seat action will begin on Tuesday night with the Wild Card Round. Tonight features what I refer to as a play-in game. I don’t necessarily consider it the true MLB playoffs, but it’s an exciting one-game format nonetheless. I would rather a best-of-three series, first team to win two games takes it, but we’ll take the extra game. The Twins are in this spot against all odds. They went from a 59-103 team in 2016, to a team playing the Yankees in the postseason. The Twins have already bucked the odds at this point, regardless if they win or lose.
And that’s exactly it with the Twins: they have nothing to lose in this game. If they lose, it was a successful year anyway. But if they win, they’re going to be playing with house money. People have doubted this team all season long. Before April, the Twins were not in any discussion to reach the postseason, but here they are. So, now the narrative is that they have no chance against the Yankees. The odds would indicate that’s the case; however, the odds suggested the Twins were never going to be in this position to begin with.
The Twins finished with a record of 85-77 to earn the final wildcard. They separated themselves from everyone else across the last few weeks. A month ago, it appeared that the American League wildcard was going to be a wild race at the end. The Twins made sure that there was no suspense or drama in the end.
Ervin Santana will do his best to pull the upset and make the pundits and odds makers eat their words again. Santana has been aging like a fine wine, trying to parlay his solid year and experience into a ticket to the next round for the Twins. Meanwhile, flamethrower Luis Severino will counter for the Yankees. It’s the veteran vs the newcomer. We’ll see who comes out on top and advances to the ALDS. The winner will play tonight for the right to face the Indians. Get our free Twins vs. Yankees Wild Card Game pick below. Before I go any further, though, my condolences to Las Vegas and anyone that has been impacted by the tragedy from Sunday night.
Minnesota Twins vs. N.Y. Yankees Pick
Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) vs. Luis Serverino (14-6, 2.98 ERA)
The Yanks are 4-2 over the Twins this season. In other words, the Yankees are not invincible in this spot. In fact, if they were one the really good teams in the postseason, they wouldn’t be playing in this game to begin with. They would have bypassed the Red Sox. Severino has just 6 losses this season with a record of 14-5. Of those 6 losses, 5 of them came at home at Yankee Stadium. He owns an ERA of 3.71 at Yankee Stadium, including a rough start in his last outing against the Twins. He allowed 3 hits and 3 runs across just 3 innings of work on the 20th of September.
It’s a small sample size, but in 13 at-bats against Severino, the Twins are hitting him for a .385 batting average. There are five batters who have at least a .500 BA. Again, small sample size, but worth noting on a guy who is nearly a -300 favorite. Sananta has done an okay job against the Yankees. The Yanks have hit him for a .270 BA in 159 at-bats so just about average. The Yankees may very well win, but I can find absolutely zero value on the Yankees. They do not have a -250 to -300 chance to win this game. -165 to -175, okay, but not that price. The Twins have been disrespected this season, and continue to be disrespected with the price in this game. I think there is some value to be had on the Twins to keep this a close ball game and stay within a run of the Yankees.
PICK: TWINS +1.5 (+100)