The last time these two met in the Postseason, the Yankees defeated the Twins 8-4 in the 2017 AL Wild Card Game. This year, it’ll be a best-of-five series. Here is a preview of the 2019 ALDS between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins:
Details/What to Expect
First pitch for the series is scheduled for Friday, October 4 at 7:07 PM EST. Various networks such as MLB Network and FS1 are set to broadcast the games. If necessary, the Yankees will have home-field advantage should the series go to a fifth game.
The teams met six times this season, the Yankees taking four of them. The Yankees outscored them 43-38. This high-scoring can continue through the series, as both of these teams broke the 300 home run mark, breaking the MLB record. The Twins just beat out the Yankees by out homering them 307-306. Fans can expect to see this power continue from both the Yankees and Twins throughout the ALDS.
Like other playoff series, expect managers to be stricter on their pitchers than the regular season. If a manager doesn’t like what he sees, he typically won’t hesitate going to the bullpen early. Don’t be surprised to see pitchers coming in and out of the game quickly.
James Paxton (15-6, 3.82 ERA) will get the ball for the Yankees in game one. He will face Jose Berrios (14-8, 3.68 ERA).
Players to Watch For
Minnesota Twins: Nelson Cruz
At 39-years-old, Nelson Cruz is having arguably one of the best seasons of his career. The veteran smashed 41 long balls through just 120 games this season. He finished the regular season with a line of .311/.392/.639 and an OPS of 1.031.
Against active Yankees pitchers, Cruz has hit fairly well. Including the Postseason, Cruz hits .281/.336/.460 against the Yankees’ regular season roster. Another stat that could give him confidence heading into the ALDS is that he homered in five of their six regular season meetings this season.
New York Yankees: Didi Gregorius
Didi Gregorius has had some struggles this season. He ended the regular season having played in 82 games and hitting a mere .238/.276/.441. However, the 29-year-old has played well against the Twins in his career. Against active Twins pitchers, Gregorius slashes .297/.350/.615. This includes a line of .375/.500/.875 with a 1.375 OPS against game one starter Jose Berrios. Didi should look to continue his past line with the Twins as opposed to his 2019 regular season line during this series.
- Byron Buxton (OF) is out of the Postseason with a shoulder injury.
- Marwin Gonzalez (UT.) should be ready to play in the ALDS.
- Max Kepler (OF) can play if his shoulder is ready.
- Michael Pineda (SP) is suspended due to PED usage.
- Luis Arraez (2B/3B/OF) may be on the roster if his ankle heals in time.
New York Yankees:
- Aaron Hicks (OF) will miss the playoffs with an elbow injury.
- CC Sabathia (SP) is not on the Postseason roster as he has a shoulder injury.
- Dellin Betances (RP) will not pitch in the Postseason with an Achilles issue.
- Domingo German (SP) cannot pitch in the Postseason due to administrative leave.
- Edwin Encarnacion (1B/DH) should be ready to go for the ALDS.
- Gio Urshella’s (3B) ankle should be healthy in time to make the ALDS roster.
- Miguel Andujar (3B) played in just 12 games this season before exiting with an injury.
Feature Image Courtesy of The Daily Courier.