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New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins: Series preview

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Two playoff contenders collide in the Twin Cities.

T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It may have been the case in the past that facing the Minnesota Twins was a breeze, or “games you needed to win.” I would probably argue that that’s still the case, but you’re now dealing with a better ball club. After winning just 59 games last year, the Twins have already won 46 so far this season. That could be very deceiving, though, because they only have 39 Pythagorean wins, being outscored by their opponents by 67 runs.

That doesn’t mean they’re inept, of course. Their rotation is led by Ervin Santana (149 ERA+), Jose Berrios (121 ERA+), and Adalberto Mejia (101 ERA+). Their offense is anchored by the phenomenal Miguel Sano (138 OPS+, 21 home runs), and a combination of a still-competent Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eddie Rosario, and Max Kepler.

In game one the Twins will have Mejia on the mound, and he has no history against the Yankees. He’s just 24-years-old and came over last season in the Eduardo Nunez trade. He’s so far pitched to a 99 ERA+, so call that successful for now. He throws a fastball, changeup, slider, and a cutter that could be a weapon if he develops it. Bryan Mitchell gets the late call for the start for the Yankees. This will be his ninth career start. His last start against the Twins was on August 17, 2015, and he allowed a run over just one and two-thirds inning. Let’s hope he gives them a bit more length this time around.

In game two the Yankees will be forced to bring back Luis Cessa, and he’s pitched to a surprising 95 ERA- in his short stint. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters and he’s vulnerable to the long ball, so just pitch around Sano, please. The Twins will have none other than Bartolo Colon, who was recently released by the Braves and has a 8.16 ERA on the season. If only he could bat.

Game three will feature Jordan Montgomery and Berrios. Montgomery has been a gem for the Bombers, pitching to a 86 ERA- in 17 starts. If he could put that up over a full season, you take that in a heartbeat. The Twins will have Berrios, and he’s lived up to the top prospect billing in 2017 after putting up a rather disappointing 2016 campaign. He has three plus pitches, including a dynamic fastball. He has also straightened out his control and has allowed just 2.71 walks per nine.

The first game will be tonight at 8:10 PM, followed by the same time for game two, and a day game rubber match. Game one and three can be seen on YES, and game two will be on WPIX or ESPN.