One thing everyone can expect when examining this ALDS between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins is that there will be a lot of long balls. Both teams belted over 300 home runs this season, which had never been done before in MLB history. But that's 2019 for you, right?
So, what far-more-unexpected twists and turns are coming in this series? Here are three bold predictions for the Yankees-Twins ALDS that could go either way.
3. James Paxton Shuts Down Twins Lineup in Game 1
James Paxton had to exit his last start because of tightness in his left glute, so you wouldn't expect him to go the distance in what is likely a Game 1 start. However, when he takes the ball, expect Paxton to dominate the Minnesota Twins and shut down this loaded lineup that led MLB in home runs. He'd won 10 consecutive starts prior to the latest shortened one, after all.
2. Kyle Gibson Throws a Gem
The Minnesota Twins' starting rotation leaves a lot to be desired, but somebody needs to step up if they want to pull off the upset. That guy will be Kyle Gibson, even though his 2019 campaign has been rough (4.84 ERA over 34 appearances), and in 10 career starts against the Yankees, he owns a 6.75 ERA. Gibson needs to keep his sinker down, and if he does, expect a lot of grounders from a Yankee lineup that is trying to lift and separate. Career at Yankee Stadium, Gibson holds a 4.29 mark in 21 innings, and carried a no-hitter into the sixth in 2018. If the Twins line him up for Game 2, he could surprise.
1. Luke Voit Sneaks Onto ALDS Roster and Becomes Series Hero
Luke Voit ended the season on a 1-for-32 skid with 13 strikeouts, so he's not even a lock to make the ALDS roster. However, there is power in that bat, and if he somehow sneaks his way onto the roster, it could pay huge dividends. Whether in Game 5 or some other huge moment earlier in the series, he seems like as good a call as any to deliver a patient AB in the clutch.