MLB Predictions: Yankees vs. Twins Series Odds and Baseball Picks
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 10/6/2010
One day the Minnesota Twins are celebrating an AL Central title and a return trip to the playoffs and the next they are finding out their prize for winning the division is another date with the New York Yankees in the postseason.
The Yankees have dominated these Twins for the past decade. Since 2003 the Yankees have eliminated the Twins in three American League Divisional Series including a three-game sweep last October. This season the Yankees took four of six from the Twins and last season they were a perfect 10-0 against Minnesota.
But the Twins have an ace up their sleeve, and not just with their starting pitching. This will be the first time the Twins have had home-field advantage in the playoffs against the Yankees and they will play their first outdoor home playoff game since the 1970 ALCS. They saw firsthand how a team can draw momentum from a new stadium last season when they walked into the new Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees parlayed their new ballpark into a World Series and the Twins hope for the same this year, but they find themselves as underdogs against the Yankees even with Game 1 at Citi Field in Minnesota set for Wednesday at 8:37 p.m. ET.
Minnesota first basemen Justin Morneau has been ruled out of the playoffs with a lingering concussion. Minnesota is 49-29 without him in the lineup. The power in the Twins lineup has come from Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome (25 home runs). The bullpen was a question mark when Joe Nathan was lost for the season, but now the Twins have a trio of closers with Jon Rauch, Matt Capps and Brian Fuentes. But none of the three can touch Mariano Rivera, who has 33 saves and a 1.80 ERA this year.
The Yankees have four players, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, with 29 or more home runs. Cano, Rodriguez and Teixeira have all knocked in more than 100 runs. Only Young has more than 100 RBI for Minnesota.
Game 1: CC Sabathia (LHP, 21-7, 3.18 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano, (LHP, 14-10, 3.62 ERA)
Game 2: Andy Pettitte (LHP, 11-3, 3.28 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano (RHP, 17-11, 3.75 ERA)
Game 3: Brian Duensing (LHP, 10-3, 2.62) vs. Phil Hughes (RHP, 18-8, 4.19 ERA)
The Yankees have to be wondering where this production from Pavano is coming from. He was one of the biggest free-agent busts in baseball history and constantly booed in New York. He finished his Yankee career 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA but his playoff track record speaks for itself. In four playoff series (three with the Marlins in 2003 and one last season with Minnesota), Pavano is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA. But rather than go with the veteran Pavano, the flame-throwing southpaw Liriano will get the call for Game 1 opposite of Sabathia.
In last year’s playoffs Sabathia was 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA. He pitched Game 1 in the ALDS, ALCS and World Series, but last season was the first year he excelled in the playoffs. With Cleveland in 2001 and 2007 and with Milwaukee in 2008, Sabathia had a postseason ERA of 7.92.
Pettitte may be the biggest proven commodity when it comes to starting pitching in October. He is 18-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 249 postseason innings pitched. Duensing with Minnesota and Hughes with New York put up impressive regular-season numbers, but both have struggled in limited innings in the postseason. This series, however, likely will not be decided in Game 3 when the youngsters meet, but rather in the first two games.
Yankees vs. Twins Series Odds
Even without home-field advantage the New York Yankees still find themselves favored at -190 in the best-of-five series while the Twins are listed at +155. In pivotal Game 1 the Yankees are -140 favorites on the road and the Twins are priced at +120. MLB Playoff odds courtesy of BetUS.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Twins Betting Trends
Yankees are 10-1 in their last 11 playoff games as a favorite
Twins are 2-8 in their last 10 overall
Twins are 3-14 in their last 17 playoff games as an underdog
Twins are 0-8 in their last eight playoff home games
‘Under’ is 4-1 in the last five meetings
N.Y. Yankees vs. Twins Predictions and Baseball Picks
This series hinges on Game 1. A loss at home would be devastating for the Twins, but if Sabathia cannot deliver for New York then there will be serious questions in the rotation with Pettitte and Hughes, who have not been themselves lately. The balanced Minnesota lineup and home-field advantage is the difference in this series, look for the series to go the distance and Minnesota to win a deciding Game 5 at home.
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