May 14, 2010

Twins-Yankees series preview

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.

Pitching Matchups:

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.

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