The New York Yankees are a legitimate threat to the rest of the American League bracket, but they’ll have to get past the Wild Card Game first.
The haters (of which there are many) prayed this was finally the year the New York Yankees would fail to post a .500 record. The haters were mistaken. Whatever rebuild the Yankees had to work through is over, and they will be back to contending for the World Series every season.
Led by American League MVP candidate and arguably the greatest rookie in MLB history in Aaron Judge, the Yankees have a deep lineup that simply refuses to swing at anything outside of the strike zone. Each spot in their batting order can hit for power, and they are solid defensively.
New York will roll out budding ace Luis Severino to win their Wild Card matchup with the Minnesota Twins, and could not be sending out a hotter pitcher. Severino’s innings were managed smartly all year long, and the Yankees are reaping the rewards now. The young right-hander will be backed up by one of the best collections of strikeout artists ever assembled in a major-league bullpen.
It all points to a massive Yankees victory over the underdog Twins in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday night. Here are the five biggest reasons the Yankees will overwhelm the Twins and head on to the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians.
5. They’re just better
No offense to the Twins, but the Yankees are the better team in every facet of the game. Outside of Byron Buxton’s defense in center field, it’s hard to find an area where Minnesota has a legitimate advantage over the Yankees. New York has a deeper lineup with more power and better plate discipline. Their starter in the game is superior and their bullpen may be the best in all of baseball. The Yankees are built to win this type of one-game playoff.
But for a week or two sprinkled in throughout the year while their young hitters went through growing pains, the Yankees have looked the part of a World Series threat. They outscored their opponents this year by a margin of 198 runs and went 20-8 in September. The Yankees are on a roll entering the Wild Card Game and swept the Twins with relative ease the last time they met.