It’s do or die! Win or go home! All or nothing! This one’s for all the marbl….Well, you get it. Tonight, the New York Yankees (91-71) will host the Minnesota Twins (85-77) in the American League Wild Card Game. In this 1-game elimination format, tonight’s winner will take on the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series.
Don’t worry, my prediction is coming. First I must let my inner Lewis Black out….
I HATE THE 1-GAME WILD CARD FORMAT!!!!
I know, I know, hate is a very strong word, but when applicable, I’ll throw it out there. This format pins 2 teams against each other in a 1-game, winner take all format. This works in the NFL for a multitude of reasons, but there’s no place for it in a sport like baseball. In MLB, the regular season consists of 162 games. The majority of teams and players go through slumps as well as hot streaks, but generally regress to the mean.
Baseball is a game of series’. Best-of-3 or 4 in the regular season, best-of-5 or 7 in the postseason. The point is, any team, on any given day, can win a baseball game. The San Francisco Giants had the worst record in MLB this season (64-98), while the Los Angeles Dodgers had the best record (104-58). The Giants beat the Dodgers 8 times!! However, they played each other 19 times (being in the same division), and the better team prevailed over time. I’m not suggesting every postseason series be best-of-7. I live in reality, and I’m aware of the logistics of travel and playing baseball in November, but this has to change. At the bare minimum, give me a best-of-3 series.
Oh yeah, there’s a game to talk about….
The Yankees are better than the Twins in every conceivable way, but all it takes is 1 pitching gem from Ervin Santana, and the Yankees’ season is over. That won’t happen tonight. Seemingly everyone on the Yankees’ roster contributed to their 91-win season, including Luis Severino (who will take the hill tonight), however no one was more vital to the Yankees’ success than Aaron Judge. Judge is the runaway AL Rookie of the Year, and is in a 2-man race for AL MVP (Jose Altuve).
The question asked of Judge, isn’t if he has the skill set, rather, can he handle the pressure??
There will be no bigger test than tonight.
The regular season in New York inherently shines brightly, however, the spotlight shines brightest in October (or November), in the Bronx. We are going to learn a lot about Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino this evening. Will they fall or take this talented Yankees’ team to new heights??
I know who MLB is rooting for. I’m not a biased Yankees’ fan, but ratings are ratings. No one, outside of Minnesota and Cleveland, would tune in to that ALDS. There’s a reason why the Yankees’ hat travels more than any other.
Luis Severino will parlay his successful regular season into a quality start: 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 7 k’s, and 1 walk. Girardi will then go through his robotic 7th, 8th, and 9th inning moves; Robertson, Betances, Chapman. If, on the odd chance Dave is wrong, and Severino gets in early trouble, Girardi will either bring in another starter, or get the ball to Tommy Kahnle or Chad Green. This game will be a microcosm of Aaron Judge’s season. Expect him to draw a walk, strikeout, and hit a baseball really, really far….
Prediction: Yankees 8, Twins 4
Tune in to ESPN tonight @ 8:00 P.M. EST to catch the action.
Who do you think will win?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.
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