Minnesota Twins look to prove they can win against the New York Yankees
The Minnesota Twins will look to bounce back from a bad series in Tampa Bay and prove they can beat the dangerous New York Yankees.
The Minnesota Twins had a rough weekend in Tampa Bay as they were swept by the Rays in their three game series. Now the Twins travel to New York to face the Yankees. The same Yankees who ended their 2017 postseason, and well…basically every postseason for the past two decades.
This week as the Twins play four games against the Yankees in New York they will be able to see just how improved their pitching is against a power heavy lineup. The pitching staff, and bullpen, in particular, is under extra scrutiny after giving up plenty of runs against a Rays team that had only won five games in advance of the Twins series.
The Twins rotation does at least line up well for this series. As the Twins top three starters will take the mound to open the series. Here are the projected starters for this week’s series.
April 23rd: Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 6.45 ERA)
April 24th: Jose Berrios (2-1, 1.63 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (0-0, 2.70 ERA)
April 25th: Lance Lynn (0-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (1-1, 8.27 ERA)
April 26th: Kyle Gibson (1-1, 4.29 ERA) vs. TBD
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This Yankees team is the exact matchup that has to make the Twins nervous when it comes to Odorizzi. His Achilles heel last season was the long ball. That tendency popped up in his last outing in Puerto Rico has he allowed three home runs to end what had been a great start against the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees with their bats and that short porch in right field have the ability to pounce on any misplaced pitches and make a pitcher regret it quickly.
Aaron Judge has continued his 2017 success as he already has 6 home runs on the season to go along with a .324/.462/.608 slash line and 1.070 OPS. His new smash brother, Giancarlo Stanton, doesn’t have a great slash line at .185/.283/.395 but still has hit 4 home runs. Didi Gregorius always seems to fly under the radar a bit but is once again proving to be a dangerous hitter. The Yankees shortstop is currently slashing .333/.442/.742 with 6 home runs of his own and a 1.184 OPS.
While the Yankees have bats that can use the right field porch well. Hopefully, Max Kepler can continue his solid start and do the same. Kepler currently holds a .288/.383/.596 slash line with 4 home runs. After his first home run and a day off, this is a perfect place for Logan Morrison to get on track as well and to do some major damage for the Twins. (Yes, we keep saying that but it just seems impossible he will be this bad all season long!)
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The biggest let down for the Twins currently is that their offense hasn’t consistently been as dangerous as it can be. The Twins in many ways should be able to go toe to toe with the Yankees line up. They have the opportunity this week to prove that. If the Twins don’t, a lot of tough questions will be asked about their place in the American League and chances of contending for a playoff spot.