The Minnesota Twins travel to Yankee Stadium to face the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday. The Yankees finished the season with a 91-71 record, good for second place in the American League East.
Led by Aaron Judge (.284 BA, 52 HR, 114 RBI), Gary Sanchez (.278 BA, 33 HR, 90 RBI) and ace Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA, 230 SO), the Yankees boasted the MLB's second best run-differential and were second in runs scored.
New York enters Tuesday with a record of 89-33 against the Twins since the start of 2002, including 45-14 at home, and won the season series 4-2 after a three-game sweep last month in the Bronx. Minnesota has been eliminated by the Yankees in four of their past five playoff appearances, losing in the ALDS in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
Manager Joe Girardi is not expected to drastically shake up his team's roster ahead of the most important game of the season, but because the game is do-or-die, the winner can submit a whole new roster prior to the American League Division Series. This means Girardi has opted for fewer starting pitchers in favor of more bench players and relievers.
The lineup for Monday night’s game was released just before 4 p.m., with the only minor surprise that Girardi has opted to go with Aaron Hicks over Chase Headley. Hicks will play center while Jacoby Ellsbury is the DH. Hicks has only played in six games since returning from an oblique injury. Both he and Headley are switch hitters, though Headley has better splits against righthanded pitching than Hicks.
• Brett Gardner – LF
• Aaron Judge – RF
• Gary Sanchez – C
• Didi Gregorius – SS
• Starlin Castro – 2B
• Greg Bird – 1B
• Aaron Hicks — CF
• Jacoby Ellsbury – DH
• Todd Frazier – 3B
• Luis Severino — RHP
The full 25-man roster, including lineups and pitching matchups, for the Yankees' Wild Card Game against the Twins can be found below.
Catchers: Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine
Infielders: Greg Bird, Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade
Outfielders: Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier
Designated Hitter: Matt Holliday
Pitchers: Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Adam Warren, CC Sabathia, Chasne Shreve
RHP Luis Severino (14-8, 2.98 ERA, 230 SO in 193 1/3 IP) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA, 167 SO in 211 1/3 IP)