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New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins: Series Preview

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The Yankees head west for three games in Minnesota

MLB: Colorado Rockies at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees had their five-game win streak snapped in yesterday’s finale against the Colorado Rockies, but they’ll get a chance to get back on the horse tonight against the Minnesota Twins. They’ll be out west for three games. These two teams last faced off back in early-May, and the Yankees took two of three in the Bronx. They won’t face Twins’ ace Jose Berrios on this trip. Instead, they’ll face the middle of the Twins’ rotation. Let’s break it down:

Game one

CC Sabathia has pitching duties in game one. Big C has definitely taken a small step back this year, but he’s still been an effective back-end starter. Last time out, he gave up three runs in six innings against the Rays that included two home runs. However, he kept the team in line for a win. He hasn’t faced the Twins since April of 2018, but he kept them to just two hits and no runs over six innings.

The Yankees will face Martin Perez tonight. Perez has faced the Yankees once in each of the last four seasons and hasn’t ever found much success. He currently has a 9.68 ERA in 17.2 innings pitched. Despite a 4.10 ERA, Perez is actually amidst a career-year, and a big reason why is his new cutter. It has become his primary pitch, and he has seen a significant improvement in his ability to limit hard contact, especially homers.

Game two

Domingo German will follow Sabathia on Tuesday. The young righty has been solid in two starts since the All-Star break. In 12 innings, he’s given up just two runs and two walks while striking out 12. He faced the Twins in their series earlier this year too, and he struck out seven in 6.2 innings on his way to a win.

Kyle Gibson will go for game two, and the Yankees have some previous success against him too. Edwin Encarnacion has 1.127 OPS and four homers in 33 career at-bats against Gibson. Likewise, Gary Sanchez has two homers in just eight at-bats against the Twins’ righty. Technically, Gibson’s 114 ERA+ signifies he’s an above average pitcher, but his Statcast profile couldn’t be any more average. Most of his relevant statistics sit in the 40-60th percentile range.

Game three

J.A. Happ is set to go in the series finale on Wednesday. Like German, Happ faced off with the Twins earlier this year but did not fare nearly as well. He gave up four runs, including two homers on his way to the Yankees’ only loss that series. Despite an unsightly batted ball profile since the All-Star break (.429 BABIP), Happ has been able to keep runners off the board and is sporting a 3.48 ERA.

Jake Odorizzi is set to go in game three. While he’s having himself a decent season, he’s going through a bit of a rough patch. His success this season is likely attributed to a slightly different repertoire. He added a few MPH to his four-seamer, and like Perez, Odorizzi has leaned on his cutter much more this year than in season’s past to much success. However, he has surrendered six homers in his last four starts, going back to June 26th. He has a 5.79 ERA in that span.