As the Yankees fulfill their professional obligations by playing the Kansas City Royals in a meaningless series, the Detroit Tigers will be hosting the Minnesota Twins in a four-game series that will likely decide who the Yankees face the American League Division Series.
The Tigers (83-72) lead the Twins (81-74) by two games with seven to play. The winner gets to come to Yankee Stadium and face CC Sabathia in Game 1 of the postseason on Oct. 7 or 8.
The Twins have won nine of the 14 meetings between the teams so far. For Joe Mauer (.371/.444/.602) it’s also a chance to wrap up the MVP, if he hasn’t already.
The pitching matchups:
Tonight: RHP Nick Blackburn (11-11, 4.18) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.14)
Tuesday: Brian Duensing (5-1, 3.33) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (19-7, 3.41)
Wednesday: RHP Carl Pavano (13-11, 4.86) vs. RHP Eddie Bonine (0-1, 4.60)
Thursday: RHP Scott Baker (14-9, 4.48) vs. LHP Nate Robertson (2-2, 5.56)
Gadzooks! It’s the American Idle pitching in a big game. The notorious Carl Pavano is 4-3, 3.84 in 10 starts for the Twins. The Idle has four more wins this season than in the entire four seasons he spent swindling the Yankees.
Do you have a preference? Vote in the poll over to the right.
I’d say that you should want the Twins. The Tigers can throw some formidable pitching at you and crafty old Jim Leyland beat the Yankees back in 2006. The Yankees were 7-0 against the Twins this season and 5-1 against the Tigers.