2017 Wild Card
Yankees 5 Twins 2
Two teams that were not expected to be playoff teams meet in the American League Wild Card Game. The New York Yankees have a talented young core of power hitters that could bring another golden age of baseball to the Bronx, while the Minnesota Twins completed a remarkable turnaround, becoming the first team to make the playoffs a year after losing 100 games. In the regular season, the Yankees won four of six meetings with the Twins, including a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium just two weeks ago. A big reason for Minnesota’s surprising success was Ervin Santana who posted a record of 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA, two weeks ago he pitched well but took a loss against the Yankees, allowing two runs in five and two-thirds innings as the Yankees won the game 2-1. Santana has always struggled in the Bronx, posting a record of 0-5 with a 6.43 ERA in six career starts at the new Yankee Stadium. Luis Severino who posted a 14-6 record with a 2.98 ERA is getting the start for the Yankees. Two weeks ago, he struggled and got a no-decision as the Yankees beat the Twins 11-3 to complete the sweep. Aaron Judge is coming off a big month as he hit 15 home runs to set the Rookie record with 52 home runs, while Miguel Sano the Twins best hitter is hobbled with a shin injury. The Twins do not have a deep bullpen, while New York has perhaps the deepest pen of any of the ten teams in the postseason. If Severino starts to struggle, Manager Joe Girardi won’t hesitate to make a pitching change. It’s depth along with the Yankees lineup that will prove to be the difference as the Yankees get the win at home and advance to face the Cleveland Indians.
Rockies 4 Diamondbacks 3
From the start of the season the three top teams in the National League West were heads and shoulders above the rest of the league as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies all three teams had topped 50 wins by July 5th. While the Dodgers blasted off to win the division, with a historic three-month stretch that saw them end the season with 104 wins, the Diamondbacks and Rockies spent all season in position to get the Wild Card spots. Arizona won the season series against the Rockies 11-8 and with a long winning streak at the start of September secured home field for the Wild Card game, while Colorado had to fight to the very end of the season to hold off Brewers and Cardinals. On the mound, the Diamondbacks have ace Zack Greinke getting the start after posting a 17-record with a 3.20 ERA, while the Rockies are turning to Jon Gray who went 10-4 with a 3.67 ERA. Since August 1st, Gray has a 2.44 ERA and has not allowed more than three runs in a start since July 19th. Jon Gray has also pitched well against the Diamondbacks allowing two runs with ten strikeouts in his two previous starts at Chase Field. The D-Backs have one of the hottest hitters in the game with J.D. Martinez, who finished the year with 45 home runs overall, including 29 in 62 games with Arizona. The Rockies hot hitter is Carlos Gonzalez, who after struggling all season hit .377 in September with six home runs. Over the years Gonzalez has owned Greinke, look for that to continue as the Rockies get the upset win in the desert on the way to face the Dodgers.