Twins vs. Yankees Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Yankees are a massive -260 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Twins are a +220 underdog and the over-under is set at 7.5. New York is -130 on the -1.5 runline, while Minnesota is +110 on the +1.5 runline.
Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) will draw the start for Minnesota, while Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98) goes for New York. Santana carries a 1.13 WHIP with 167 strikeouts over 211 1/3 innings. He gave up no earned runs on four hits with one strikeout and no walks in a 5-2 loss at Cleveland in his last regular season start. On September 18, he faced the Yankees and surrendered two earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 5 2/3 innings during a 2-1 defeat. Santana has a 2.71 ERA in 109 2/3 road innings. Severino holds a 1.04 WHIP with 230 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings. He allowed one earned run on four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six innings in a 6-1 home win over the Rays his last start. He gave up three earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk over three innings in an 11-3 home win over the Twins on September 20. New York won all five of Severino's September starts. He has a 3.71 ERA in 97 home innings.
Minnesota finished the regular season 85-77 and was 44-37 on the road, while New York is 91-71 and 51-30 at home. The Yankees won four of six games in the season series including the last three contests. The total went under in the first five meetings before going over in the final game.
News broke Tuesday that Twins slugger Miguel Sano (.264 BA, 28 HR, 77 RBIs) will be left on their Wild Card Game roster with a shin injury. Minnesota's offense is led by Brian Dozier (.853 OPS, 34 HR, 93 RBIs) out of the leadoff spot. Joe Mauer (.801 OPS, 7 HRs, 71 RBIs), Eddie Rosario (.836 OPS, 27 HRs, 78 RBIs) and Max Kepler (.737 OPS, 19 HRs, 69 RBIs) are all contributors. The Yankees are led by Aaron Judge (1.049 OPS, 52 HRs, 114 RBIs), who set a rookie record for home runs this season. Gary Sanchez (.876 OPS, 33 HRs, 90 RBIs), Brett Gardner (.778 OPS, 21 HRs, 63 RBIs, 23 SBs) and Didi Gregorius (.796 OPS, 25 HRs, 87 RBIs) also highlight the offense.
Minnesota would not be in the playoffs without Santana turning in his best season in many years. He'll be tasked with slowing down a New York offense that excels in hitting the long ball. Expect one or two of Santana's pitches to leave the yard. If New York gets the lead and Severino puts together one of his typical starts, the contest will be left to a Yankees bullpen that was strengthened considerably at the trade deadline. The Twins offense will suffer without the presence of Sano and don't expect a repeat performance when they got to Severino early a couple weeks ago. We like the Yankees by multiple runs here.
MLB AL WILD CARD PREDICTION: NEW YORK YANKEES RL -130