New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins Pick – Game 4 Analysis
Minnesota Twins (101-63) vs. New York Yankees (105-59)
When: 8:40 p.m., Monday, October 7
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Moneyline: NYY -120/MIN +130 (5Dimes)
Runline: Yankees -1.5/Twins +1.5
Back to the Wall
This is exactly the place that the Twins didn’t want to be in as they brought the ALDS to Target Field: down two games and facing elimination, but that’s where they are. It’s a familiar place for them in the ALDS, as they’ve fallen behind 0-2 in each of their previous three ALDS appearances. Unfortunately for the Twins, they don’t have experience in winning with their backs against the wall.
Since beating Oakland in the ALDS in 2002, the Twins have faced seven elimination games, and they’ve lost all of them. Not once since beating the Athletics, which they had to do twice to win in the ALDS in 2002, has Minnesota even been able to extend a series by one game once it faced elimination.
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Tale of Two Situations
It’s been a good two months for Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, who’s tasked with trying to save Minnesota’s season and force a fourth game — as long as he hasn’t been tasked with facing the White Sox at home. Over the past two months, his only two losses have been to Chicago at Target Field, with his other seven appear-ances in August and September all going in the win column for Minnesota.
Go back a few weeks further, however, and you uncover a severe sign of danger. That would be the time that Odorizzi faced the Yankees in Minneapolis. To put it kindly, the results were not pretty. The Yankees unloaded on Odorizzi, tagging him for nine runs on ten hits in a game New York eventually won 10-7. However, Odorizzi hasn’t been totally helpless against New York: he did beat the Yankees 7-3 in the Bronx in May and beat his opponent Severino in a matchup last season at Target Field. Overall, Odorizzi is 7-9 against the Yankees, hav-ing done most of that work when he was with AL East rival Tampa Bay.
Recovered or Not?
Severino hasn’t seen much action this year because of shoulder injuries, and with only 12 innings on the season, he’s a rather risky choice for the Bronx Bombers in this game. However, New York skipper Aaron Boone can afford to roll the dice with a two-game lead, and because he hasn’t had to use his bullpen much, he’ll have no hesitation in going to the pen if Severino gets into any kind of trouble.
When he’s been on, Severino has been a strong option for the Yankees, winning 19 games a season ago. He’s yet to show that his right arm is strong enough to go more than five innings, but that might be all that the Yankees need from him in this game. If he can get the game to the fifth with the Yankees either tied or ahead, New York has total trust in its bullpen to finish off the Twins.
Make it 15 straight that the Twins have now lost in the playoffs, and now they’re facing a must-win situation to keep their season alive. However, Minnesota continues to have a complete lack of success against the Yankees, who have been the winner in every playoff game ever played at Target Field. Granted, that’s a small sample size, as there have only ever been two playoff games in Target Field’s nine years, but it speaks to the Twins’ long-term torture at the hands of the Yankees.
- The Twins are 4-19 in their past 22 ALDS games.
- The Yankees are 2-10 in their past 12 playoff road games.
- The Yankees are 8-2 in Severino’s last ten starts against the AL Central.
- The Twins are 1-4 in their past five games against a team above .600.
- The over is 21-5-1 in the Yankees’ past 26 against the AL Central.
- The over is 4-0 in Odorizzi’s past four starts against the AL East.
The mild fall weather of the Bronx has followed the teams to the Twin Cities, as the temperature will be 63 degrees at first pitch.
The Yankees just continue to dominate Minnesota, so why would I switch my pick away from the Yankees now? I said before the playoffs began that the only team in the American League that could spook the Yan-kees was Cleveland, and thanks to Minnesota, the Indians are at home watching the postseason. The Twins just don’t pose the same threat to the Yankees that the Indians did, as New York’s pitching knows how to keep the ball in the park against the Twins’ lineup and Minnesota’s pitching just isn’t experienced enough to hold a powerful New York lineup off balance.
Maybe in a year, Minnesota will be ready to compete with the likes of the Yankees and Astros. But for now, I think Monday is going to make the end of what’s been an excellent season for the Twins. I’m getting a cheap price with the Bronx Bombers, so I’m going to take the Yankees to finish off the sweep and advance to the ALCS.
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