At this exact time last year, the Yankees epitomized their season as the “Year of the Walk-off” with three consecutive walk-off wins against the Twins.
This year, the Twins are leading the AL Central with a 22-12 record, which just so happens to be the Yankees record. However, the Rays hold a two-game lead in the AL East over the Yanks. The Yankees are 10-2 at home this year while the Twins are 10-6 on the road.
|Date:||Twins starters||Yankees starters|
|Fri., 7:05 p.m.||Scott Baker (4-2, 4.57)||A.J. Burnett (4-1, 3.40)|
|Sat., 1:05 p.m.||Francisco Liriano (4-1, 2.36)||Andy Pettitte (4-0, 2.08)|
|Su ., 1:05 p.m.||Nick Blackburn (3-1, 4.76)||TBA|
The Yankees are likely to go with Sergio Mitre (0-1, 3.86) on Sunday, but Joe Girardi hasn’t confirmed anything in case he has to use Mitre in relief in games 1 and 2. I’d assume Ivan Nova is the backup option if they do use Mitre in relief.
Players to Watch:
Twins: M&M Brothers. With the Twins, it’s always Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Both are healthy and hitting well over .300. Morneau especially is having a big year, leading the majors in OPS (1.138).
Yankees: Francisco Cervelli. It’s time the backup catcher got some recognition. He’s hitting .408/.482/.490 and is 9-for-12 with runners in scoring position! This guy will approach 300 mini fist-pumps at this pace.
This is a big series for both teams. The Twins are really going to want revenge after last year’s ALDS and the Yankees are playing a little shorthanded. Saturday’s southpaw showdown is a must-watch if you ask me. In the end, I say the Yankees take two of three.