Minnesota (94-68) vs New York (95-67)
When I think about the Twins the last decade I think of the LA Angels of Anaheim. The Angels may have won the World Series in 2002, but the Mike Scoscia era has seen many Divisional Series disappointments. The Angels always struggled against the Red Sox, but last year they finally got the monkey off their back when they swept Boston in the ALDS. The Angels faced off against Boston in four of six postseasons. Boston had won the previous three meetings. The Angels then lost the ALCS in six games to the Yankees.
Just like the Angels, the Twins always seem to win the Divisional Crown, but always bow out in the Divisional Series. In the Ron Gardenhire era, Minnesota’s evil empire is New York. The Twins and Yankees will be meeting for the fourth time in eight years. The Yankees defeated the Twins in the three previous meetings, including last year when Minnesota closed down the Metrodome. Just like the Angels, will the fourth time be the charm for Minnesota.
The Twins will try to go to their first ALCS since 2002, where they coincidentally, lost to the Angels.
The Yankees enter the postseason with some question marks, especially with the starting pitching. New York won 95 games a year after they won 103 a year ago.
Back to the pitching. CC Sabathia is the ace and a CY Young candidate. He’s the only starter in the rotation that brings no questions about how he’s going to perform. Andy Pettite has always been clutch in the playoffs, but he’s coming back from an injury plagued season.
Then there’s Phil Hughes. A.J. Burnett has been a disaster this season. Hughes will make his first career start this postseason.
When you look at the offense, it’s a lineup filled with players with postseason success. Guys like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Lance Berkman all had subpar seasons. The slates are now wiped clean.
3 Ways the Twins win the Series…..
- The bullpen is important. After losing Joe Nathan, the Twins went out and got Matt Capps. Can he fill in and close games effectively against that Yankees lineup. Fuentes and Rauch will be counted on to hold leads against a pontented Yankees lineup.
- Winning game 1. If they can beat Sabathia, they win the series.
- Can Liriano handle the pressure of the postseason as the ace.
3 Ways the Yankees win the Series…..
- If Andy Pettitte is healthy and effective, all of a sudden the top of the rotation doesn’t look so bad.
- Derek Jeter- He’s Mr. November, but he’s had a frustrating year. He’ll be ready.
- If Pettitte and Hughes struggle, can a Burnett, Nova or Moseley step up and keep New York in the game in long relief.
Intriguing Individual Matchups
Sabathia vs Mauer
Rivera vs Thome (with the game on the line)
PREDICTION- Yankees in 5
This is the toughest series to call. I’m going to take the postseason experience of the Yankees. I think people are underestimating the starting pitching a bit. The key is Andy Pettite, but if he’s on, all of a sudden you have a solid 1-2 punch in he and Sabathia.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!