Why Game 3 Will Be a Telling Road Test for the Yankees’ World Series Aspirations
Two years ago, the hurdle that kept the New York Yankees out of the World Series was travel. They did not lose a single home game in the 2017 postseason, but sported a 1-6 record on the road.
They will likely face a similar test this season against those same Houston Astros that bested them in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS, who will once again have home field advantage. But, that is if they can advance past the Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees, currently leading the ALDS 2-0, will get their first taste of postseason baseball on the road tonight for Game 3. It will also be a chance for them to clinch the series on the road, just as they did in Game 5 of the 2017 ALDS in Cleveland.
The momentum of two dominant wins at home, combined with arguably their best pitcher taking the ball, is a set of circumstances that will make for a very telling Game 3 for the Yankees. Not only that, but they will be facing a team in the Twins that sport the worst home record of any postseason team this October.
Game 3 will most likely be the most winnable road game the Bombers get all postseason. While much has still yet to be determined before the next round, their most likely path to the 2019 Championship will go through Houston in the ALCS and then the Dodgers in the World Series, both of which will see the Yankees as the road team if they are to get that far.
Opening their postseason road campaign 1-0, and finishing the series in three games, may parlay the momentum they need into the next round and a possible Game 1 in Houston. It would also give them a head start on preparation for the next round as Tampa Bay staved off elimination over Houston with a win in Game 3 of that series earlier today.
However, a loss tonight might not only change the inflection of their postseason aspirations, but this series itself. Tonight’s game will be the first playoff game in Minnesota since 2010, and a cornerstone moment for a team that can and has matched the Yankees offense this season. Severino has had an up-and-down postseason record in his young career, but may be taking the ball for one of the most important Yankees games this postseason against a very potent Twins lineup.
The Yankees were on the right side of a 2-0 series comeback two years ago after dropping the first two games of the ALDS to the Indians, culminating in their only road win of the 2017 postseason in Game 5. While a similar comeback by the Twins this year is a long shot considering the postseason and regular season history between the two clubs, the possibility exists in the unpredictable landscape of baseball. Especially with the offensive potential of Minnesota and the inconsistency of each of the Yankees top three starting pitchers.
They won’t have to worry about that situation if Severino and company can close it out tonight on the road.
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