The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins begin a three-game series Monday night at Target Field. The Yankees are coming off an 8-4 loss against the Rockies on Sunday, but were winners in two of three games. They can afford to drop a game or two here and there given their lead in the AL East. The Rays are the next closest in the division, though that amounts to a 9-game hole.
Tampa are in the midst of a wildcard race. The Yankees go into Monday with a record of 64-34, so their greatest concern is finding a way to find the top seed in the American League. They are tied with the Astros with 64 wins going into this week. However, the Astros have played three less games than the Yanks.
The Twins lead their division as well, but what was around a double-digit lead, has evaporated and their lead is down to three games. Cleveland made easy work of the Royals this weekend. The Twins edged out the Athletics, 7-6, on Sunday but that was only their second win in seven games.
Their recent skid has allowed the Indians to get back into the divisional race, and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if they overtake the Twins. Cleveland were the clear favorites of the AL Central going into this season. Recently, the odds have been shifting back towards them. Minnesota are still in control, but they have a tough series over the next few days at home.
Martin Perez will be tasked with setting the pace for the Twins on the bump Monday evening. The Yankees have been a tricky opponent for him in the past, so the offense may have to do their part against CC Sabathia. Sabathia has been in the majors since 2001 and continues to pitch effectively as a 39-year-old. He’s regressed from the previous few years, but is still a viable option. Head below for our free Twins vs. Yankees pick.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
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Sabathia has been holding up well for a guy who has these many miles on his arm. The most impressive thing about his longevity might be his ability to avoid injuries. That is mainly how Sabathia has been able to stay on the mound for this long and pitch at an optimal level. He concluded the last three seasons with ERA’s below 4.00, but is in danger of eclipsing that mark for the first time since 2015. A trade may be initiated soon by the Yankees to get an upgrade in their rotation.
Sabathia enters Monday with a respectable ERA of 4.06 and 1.30 WHIP in 2019. He has been shining bright at home, with a 2.60 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, though has struggled to put together the same on the road. Sabathia has an ERA of 5.84, .360 OBA, and 1.54 WHIP as a visiting pitcher this year.
He’s allowed at least 3 runs in each of his last outings on the road, with 4 and 5 runs allowed against the Indians and White Sox, while 3 runs against the Rays. Minnesota have throttled lefties with a .287 batting average this season. The Yankees’ offense has had plenty of success against Martin Perez, so CC may not have to be a perfect pitcher here, though.
The Yankees are hitting .315 with a .417 OBP in 92 at-bats. That includes a lot of runs in that time, 25 runs to be exact. After a below average day by their standards yesterday, expect the Yankees to look more like the team we saw on Friday and Saturday where they put up a total of 19 runs.
Perez hasn’t liked seeing this lineup in the past, so we’re likely to see the Yankees get the offense ratcheted up again on Monday. The Yankees are just 0.1 runs per game behind the Red Sox with respects to the best offense in the major leagues. Conversely, the Twins are 3rd with 5.59 runs notched per game. Expect a high-scoring contest in Minnesota between the Yankees and Twins in Game 1 of their three-game tilt.