April 22, 2018

Miguel Sano left off Twins' Wild Card roster

04 October 2017, 12:16 | Ken Black

Getty Ervin Santana will start for the Twins in the AL Wild Card game

Twins playoff schedule Yankees playoff schedule AL Wild Card game start time

Led by AL MVP candidate Aaron Judge, New York ranks second in the league in runs and first in home runs. The stage is set.

The victor of Tuesday night's game will advance to take on the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.

Tuesday night's victor moves on, while the loser is done and hangs up the cleats until 2018 Spring Training. Sano may return for the ALDS, if the Twins advance, but he's out for the Wild Card game for sure.

Over a five- or seven-game series, all of that would give the Yankees a significant advantage, before you even added in that they have home-field advantage for this game. Regardless of what people thought of the Twins, they are here now and ready to make a stand. Minnesota won 85 games and earned their right to be here.

The Minnesota Twins made history this past Wednesday being the first team in Major League Baseball history to go from losing 100 games or more to making it to the postseason the following year.

The Twins have arguably the best defense in the league, and it's been a huge reason why they are where they are. Santana tied Cleveland ace Corey Kluber for the major league lead. While the Twins are certainly capable of winning the Wild Card game, the Yankees have been the better team, especially in terms of run differential, which is a very good indicator of a team's true strength.

Berrios, in my opinion, is the X-factor for the Twins in this game.

Now, after a jaw-dropping 52-homer rookie season, it's Judge's turn to show what he can do in October.

If Santana struggles early, it's all hands on deck for Twins' pitching. But in this case, those eight at-bats are all the Twins really have to form an opinion on where he's at after missing six weeks, and the results weren't overly-encouraging.

The Twins opted to carry 11 pitchers for the winner-take-all game, including lefties Taylor Rogers, Buddy Boshers and Adalberto Mejia. In the 2017 regular season, Santana has compiled a 16-8 record with a 3.28 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, and 7.1 K/9, along with an opposing slash line of.225/.286/.392.

Yankees: RH Luis Severino (14-8, 2.98, 230 Ks in 193 1/3 IP). Twins won two of three games vs. the Yankees in Minnesota from July 17-19. A big key was a renewed focus on fundamentals. The Yankees have seven legitimately outstanding relievers, including three at the back-end that are among the game's best. Not often are the Yankees a surprise victor, but this group already has exceeded early expectations. Once the Yankees jumped out to a strong start and showed they were legitimate contenders, general manager Brian Cashman got aggressive and dipped into a deep farm system for July trades that netted Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle and starting pitcher Sonny Gray. He was activated from the disabled list for the final weekend series after missing 38 games with a stress reaction after fouling a ball of his shin.

"You're telling me that something that happened in 2006 [actually 2004, but forget it, he's rolling] is supposed to affect what this team does?" the Twins' most vocal advocate said, his MS twang drawing out the words for maximum sneerage.

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