The MLB Playoffs are underway, and we head into the weekend with baseball's Elite Eight.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros are the team's expected to reunite in the World Series, but something tells me the St. Louis Cardinals will have something to say about that in the National League. And even though the Yankees are dinged up heading into the postseason, I'm not counting out the pinstripes.
The team I didn't think I'd be counting out sooner than later, because of its historic home run count, is the Minnesota Twins. But of the six division winners, the Twins are the team I'd be very careful of when investing in future playoff wagers, or when playing individual games against the Yankees in the American League Division Series.
The Dodgers (2nd, 3.10), Cardinals (3rd, 3.24), Astros (4th, 3.26), Yankees (8th, 3.67) and Atlanta Braves (10th, 3.79) finished with respectable ERAs in the month of September, all ranking in the top 10.
But the Twins, who finished the regular season ranked second with a .270 batting average and ninth with a 4.18 ERA, ranked 15th in September, when their staff registered a 4.20 ERA.
It marked the fourth month of the season the Twins finished with an ERA higher than 4.00, as they also produced ERAs of 4.71 in April, 3.45 in May, 3.95 in June, 4.42 in July and 4.77 in August.
The team's seven main pitchers who started in September combined for a 4.66 ERA, including Martin Perez, who had a 6.46 ERA last month.
The Twins were 18-9 in September, but the troubling thing was they played only one team that made the postseason, the Washington Nationals. Now they're opening the ALDS in the Bronx, against a team that had the fourth-best batting average (.267) in baseball, and ranked No. 1 in runs scored with 943.
Buyer beware Twins fans, as your team's fledgling pitching staff faces an uphill battle in the postseason.
Twins at Yankees: I'll pick up where I left off in my column and advise you to play the American League East champs on the run line.
I know Minnesota was 55-26 on the road this season, but it also plays in the A.L. Central, and went 25-12 at its division foes. The lone series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins were 1-2.
Making matters worse for Minnesota and its struggling pitching staff is the fact the Yankees ranked third overall in baseball with a 57-24 home mark. Even further, the Bombers have won a whopping 14 of 16 in the Bronx against Minnesota dating back to 2015.
If a statement is going to be made, and there is one team that wants to set the tone for their series, it's New York. YANKEES RUN LINE
Last week: 1-1