At the end of the 2010 MLB season the Minnesota Twins sat atop their division and the Yankees finished in the wildcard spot after dropping a crucial series to their rivals the Boston Red Sox. Naturally, one would think going into the post-season that the Minnesota Twins would have the upper hand. However, when you look at the 2 teams records you’ll see that they are almost identical, especially when you break it down at home and on the road. Once you look at the head-to-head record, you start to notice that the records favour the Yankees…..in a HUGE way. In their last 7 meetings the Yankees are 6-1 and if you look even further, they are 14-2 in the last 16. The other big stat that one should look at when comparing these teams: the runs for and against. Both teams were able to keep their runs against in the 600s: the Yankees 693 and the Twins 671. Where the two separate is the runs for: the Yankees 859 and the Twins 781. That’s a huge difference in offence, especially in a short series.
There will be two big storylines to watch throughout this series. As Minnesota headed towards October baseball, they received bad news in that they would enter the postseason without Justin Morneau in the lineup against one of the best hitting teams in the MLB. This news got significantly worse when they found out they wouldn’t have him AT ALL. Will the Twins offence be able to pick up the slack or will the absence of Morneau be too much for this relatively young Twins team to overcome?
The other storyline in this series will be the two aces: Liriano for the Twins and Sabathia for the Yankees. Simply put, Sabathia was on fire during the month of September. He only allowed 32 hits in 43 innings of work; however, his record was only 3-3. Liriano, who is a left handed hurler, stumbled into the playoffs dropping his last 3 starts against teams who weren’t even close to playing October ball: Toronto, Oakland and Detroit. And it’s not like his numbers were good in these games either. He gave up 14 hits and 12 runs in a measly 13 1/3 innings worked. If he falters will the defense be able to pick him up against a great hitting team like the Yankees? Sabathia has been deep into the playoffs before and knows of how to win when it matters; the same can’t be said about Liriano. One other worthy note is that Sabathia hasn’t faced the Twins this year. Does this work in favour of the Twins or the Yankees? We will see.
Yankees vs Twins Series Odds – October 6, 2010
Bodog.com currently has the series odds set as the following:
New York Yankees -180
Minnesota Twins +160
New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins MLB Round 1 Prediction
At the end of the day we can break down categories and compare stats, but it is playoffs so most of this goes out the window. Let’s remember one thing, these are the Yankees and they do have the championships to prove that they are a winning team. They have an ace pitcher who has been unhittable in September and they were one of the best hitting teams in the MLB. Minnesota is just too unproven to upset a veteran Yankees club. I’ve got the Yankees sweeping this series.
Series Prediction: Yankees @ -180
Written By: Allan Etmanski