Yankees vs. Twins: Breaking down the position matchups between the two teams

Yankees vs. Twins: Breaking down the position matchups between the two teams

Yankees vs. Twins: Breaking down the position matchups between the two teams

Santana, 34, went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA this season and is 2-2 in eight postseason appearances. The Twins got to Luis early in NY including a 46-pitch 3rd inning where the Twins took a 3-0 lead.

Of course the Yankees are favored in Tuesday night's wild card game, based both on current result and not-so-current history.

The Yankees have owned the Twins in the playoffs in recent years and, with their three-game sweep of Minnesota at the Stadium just two weeks ago, they owned a 4-2 record against them during the regular season.

The victor advances to the next round of playoffs, the American League Division Series, a best-of-five set of games starting Thursday night in Cleveland.

The Yankees spoke confidently Monday on the eve of their showdown against the Twins in the American League wild-card game, and the pitcher they're sending out has a lot to do with why.

Minnesota appeared to give up on the 2017 season just prior to the July 31 trade deadline, sending starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Yankees.

If Severino can pitch five good innings, Joe Girardi would be able to piece together the rest of the game with one dominant bullpen arm after another. I think we're going to play a good game. Was this team not much better than the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox heading into the season? The Twins will be without Miguel Sano Tuesday night, which should help calm Severino's nerves knowing Minnesota's top home-run threat is out.

Severino, who was dropped from the rotation in 2016 and not awarded a spot in this year's rotation until the final days of spring training, emerged as the Yankees' unquestioned ace.

The Yankees say they like their chances against the surprising Twins for a number of reasons.

"He told me that, if I change my mechanics a little bit, I'll be more consistent in my strike zone", Severino said.

"We're just going to try to treat it like we have the whole season coming here", Judge said.

Santana made one start against the Yanks this season, allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. Alex Presley hit a solo homer in the third inning. The following year, many expected Sano to break out, but he was actually somewhat of a disappointment, slashing a pedestrian.236/.319/.462 with 25 home runs and 66 RBIs.

As the playoffs get underway, we take a look at what to expect when two of baseball's best stories collide in the Bronx tonight. This being the best teams won a lot and the not-good teams lost a lot. "As long as he's continuing to do his thing, I'm not going to pull him too early". Pictured: Luis Severino pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on September 27, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

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