The Runner Sports

Twins Can Make A Statement Against Yankees

The Minnesota Twins just lost two of three to the Houston Astros. That should count as winning the series. After getting completely obliterated in their first meeting, the Twins showed this time around that they are at least worthy of taking the same field as the American League’s best team.

They should use this positive energy when they enter their three-game series against the New York Yankees on Monday. The Twins currently sit 1.5 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card standings (the same distance they are behind Cleveland in the Central Division). A three-game sweep of the Yankees would put the Twins, at a minimum, in possession of the second Wild Card. With destiny in their own hands, the Twins need to bring their best and make something happen.

And this should be easier against a scuffling Yankees team. After spending the majority of the season atop the AL East, the Yankees have slowly dropped, and are currently 4-8 in the month of July. The Twins are not playing their best baseball right now, but they should still have a good chance against New York. If they can exploit a few key matchups, they could easily make up the ground on the Yankees.

The sports media has decided that Aaron Judge is the savior of Major League Baseball. He already dominated the news in the first half of the season, and then he won the Home Run Derby and has been mentioned every thirty seconds in baseball coverage since. (I’m doing it too.) But after he defeated Miguel Sanó in the derby, things have gone downhill for him.

Judge went 0-3 in the All-Star Game while Sanó went 1-1 for with an RBI. In games that matter, Judge went 1-18 with three walks and six strikeouts in his four games since the break, but Sanó has gone 1-10 with three walks and four strikeouts. So not that much better, but Sanó has been better. Hopefully, Twins pitchers can keep Judge, and the rest of the Yankees, down. And hopefully, Sanó can really start seeing the ball well and hit more home runs when they matter.

Starting pitching can also be key. In game one the Yankees will send Bryan Mitchell and his 5.06 ERA to the mound for his first start of the season. This should be a good chance to find a crack, as low pitch counts will likely mean the Twins see a parade of pitchers throughout the game. An especially good game could weaken the Yankee bullpen for the rest of the series. Luis Cessa will be making only his fourth start of the year in game two (against the Minnesota debut of Bartolo Colón) so the Twins can again take swings against a pitcher with a less than promising chance as a starter. By the time they get to Jordan Montgomery in game three, they can hopefully have worn through the bullpen and force Montgomery to go deeper in the game than the Yankees would like him to. Montgomery has been solid all year long with almost 100 innings thrown and a 3.78 ERA, so any advantage they can gain over him will be helpful.

The Twins will hopefully exploit at least a few of the weaknesses the Yankees are currently dealing with and take the chance to move up in the standings. This will also be a nice cushion as they continue to play some tough teams as July progresses.

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer is a lifelong Twins fan who spends most nights dreaming of learning a knuckleball and pitching them to a World Series victory.
Charlie Gillmer

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