AL Wild Card Preview: Yankees host Minnesota Twins
Luis Severino and Ervin Santana are the starting pitchers for Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game.
If you’re a baseball fan, it is the most wonderful time of the year— October baseball.
Tuesday, the New York Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the American League Wild Card game — two teams that were not expected to do much this season. Neither team was expected to make the playoffs during the preseason, but the unexpected happened for both.
For the Yankees, this is the second time in three years they will be hosting an AL Wild Card game. The Twins have not been in the playoffs since 2010 when they lost to the Yankees in the ALDS.
“To me, I feel good about going in,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi Monday afternoon. “It’s a one game playoff. It really is going to come down to execution of pitches.”
Girardi finalized the Yankee roster this morning. On it are ten pitchers — with Luis Severino taking the mound.
“I just want to go over there and have fun,” the 23-year-old ace said on Monday. “We had a great season. Nobody was expecting us to be here. We are here.”
And nobody did. If this was April, and you were to ask a random baseball fan if Luis Severino would be going up against Ervin Santana in the Wild Card game, they would have probably laugh at you. After his rocky 2016 season, many were unsure of the young pitchers talents.
This season, Severino emerged as the ace, going 14-6 while striking out 230 and posting a 2.98 ERA.
On the other hand, Ervin Santana completed his third season with the Twins going 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA. In his career against the Yankees, Santana is 6-10 with a 5.66 ERA.
However, unlike Severino, Santana has pitched in the postseason multiple times. Through his career in the postseason, Santana is 2-2 with 5.56 ERA.
This season, Santana has given up 31 long balls — leading many Yankee fans to believe that Aaron Judge — the AL MVP candidate, will make the difference in tonight’s game.
The winner will go on to the ALDS to face the Cleveland Indians. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is at 8 o’clock.