Conventional wisdom holds that the Twins want no part of the Yankees, because the Yankees have owned them in the post season in recent years. But it’s a different story altogether, I think, if the Twins get home field advantage in the playoffs. Which they could outright if they make up a couple of games and end up with the best record on the AL East. Or they could over the Yankees at least if the Yankees remain in second place and end up with the wild card.
Under such circumstances, you’d have to like the Twins no? Their home record is 48-23. The Yankees on the road are 38-32. History is fun and everything, but I have to think the distinct advantage the Twins have over their opponents at Target Field outweighs the Yankees’ past dominance of the Twins in the playoffs, don’t you?
Just looking ahead: the Twins have this week’s series against the White Sox, but then they close against the A’s, Indians, Royals, Tigers and Blue Jays, with most of those games at home. The Yankees still have 12 games with the Rays and Red Sox. The Rays have it a bit easier, with the six games against the Yankees and then some cupcakes.
Maybe I’m just drinking too much Twins Kool-Aid this week, but I like the Twins’ chances to take home field advantage. And I like them in a series against the Yankees as well. Indeed, it’s what they should be hoping for at this point.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.