Angelo Montilla | Tue 03/10/2017 - 06:30 EDT

American League Wild Card: Twins at Yankees Picks

American League Wild Card: Twins at Yankees Picks
Win or go home. That is the scenario the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins are in as the two rivals prepare to face off in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card (8:09 p.m., EST). The Yankees head into the game as the odds-on favorites, but don’t count out the Twins, who made the post-season for the first time in seven years. The winner will advance to the ALDS to take on the Cleveland Indians in a best-of-seven series.

The Minnesota Twins made tremendous strides in 2017 following a disastrous 103-loss season a year prior. On Tuesday night, the Twins will get a chance to book their ticket to the American League Divisional Series when they take on the New York Yankees in the wild-card playoff.

The Yankees were in contention for top spot in the AL East, but had to settle for a wild-card position as they now prepare for a one-game showdown against the upswing Twins.

The Bronx Bombers, who finished with a 91-71 record, head into the highly anticipated matchup as the -235 favorites. New York has played their best baseball at Yankee Stadium, where the club posted an impressive 51-30 record on home soil this season.

The Twins on the other hand, shocked the baseball world by finishing second in the AL Central with an 85-77 record. Minnesota, who last made the playoffs in 2010 — ironically losing to the Yankees in the ALDS — heads into Tuesday’s contest as intriguing +200 underdogs.

AL wild
The pitching matchup for the AL Wild Card will be one for the ages with the Yankees sending right-hander Luis Severino to the mound and the Twins going with Ervin Santana — also a right-hander. Severino finished the 2017 campaign with a stellar 14-6 record, while Santana was equally as brilliant, going 16-8 in helping the Twins reach the post-season.

It’s worth noting Severino has recorded victories in his last three starts, while Santana has gone 1-2 during the same stretch. These two rivals met six times during the 2017 season, with the Yankees walking away with four victories over that span.

In their last matchup on Sept. 20, the Yankees steamrolled the Twins 11-3. However, in a win-or-go-home scenario such as the AL Wild Card, this is really anybody’s game to take.

My Team's Next MatchNew York Yankees

Breaking down the stats between the Yankees and Twins, you’ll find they’re split down the middle. NY is averaging 5.30 runs per game compared to Minnesota’s 5.03. The Yanks have the advantage in the hits department with an average of 9.05 compared to 8.90 for the Twins.

If you’re betting on the spread, the Yankees are 4 ½ -run favorites, but expect a much tighter game in the AL Wild Card. Bovada is offering a few enticing proposition odds, including margin of victory. The Yankees winning by a 1-2 margin will pay +170. But if you’re a believer in the Twins, the way to go is taking Minnesota by 1-2 runs, which is paying +385 at Bovada.

Playoff games tend to go into extra innings — a scenario that could very well play out on Tuesday night in New York. Bovada is offering a +700 line that the game will need extra innings to decide a winner — a bet worth taking a chance on at this point of the season.

With Santana and Severino both sporting ERSs around 3.00, it’s possible this could turn into a high-scoring affair and with weather conditions expected to be hovering just above 50 F on Tuesday night, both pitchers may find it difficult to get in a groove in the chilly temperatures. This is why taking the over on Bovada’s total run projection of 5 ½ (-280) is a safe bet.

Pick: New York Yankees (-235)

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