Games 4 & 5
If necessary, Games 4 and 5 will depend on the managers. Berrios will have full rest to go in Game 4, and it’s not crazy to think that the Twins go with Dobnak again in Game 5 if his playoff debut in Game 2 goes well. If their games don’t go as planned, the Twins could use an opener and have Odorizzi be a bulk reliever to try to grab a win.
Ideally, the Twins won’t need these games as they have a big disadvantage with only two really good starters. However, Rocco Baldelli has been a master with his bullpen and using openers all season. Whatever ends up happening, the Twins will have the best guy they can possibly have on the rubber.
The Yankees, on the other hand, will likely give Severino and Paxton the ball again, barring injury. Severino is a slight question mark, as he could be hurting, leading to Happ getting a start. Paxton has no such questions, as he has been healthy all season and has pitched well enough through the year to get two starts in this series. Tanaka could be used in a fifth game as a bulk reliever, but even that is unlikely.
The Yankees have one of the deepest bullpens in baseball and will use every arm if needed to try to beat the Twins powerful lineup. Aaron Boone may not be at Baldelli’s level as far as using his bullpen goes, but he has more talent to work with. The Yankees will likely lean heavily on those arms to get them through.
For the first time in a while, the Twins have an advantage when it comes to pitching. A rotation led by two All-Stars, a far more steady bullpen, and a smart manager make this hitters series slightly favorable to the Twins. Overall Advantage: Twins