It's the final week of the 60-game MLB regular season and the Twins and Yankees might be on a collision course for a best-of-three playoff series.
If the season ended now, the Twins would be the No. 4 seed and in line to host the fifth-seeded Yankees in a best-of-three series at Target Field. All three games would be played in Minneapolis because traveling from city-to-city during the pandemic isn't happening this year.
The overall playoff format is different this year. Instead of six teams from each league making the playoffs, eight teams get in this season. The top two teams in each division qualify, and the two teams with the next-best records in each league make it as wild cards.
Entering play Monday, the Twins are still within striking distance of the White Sox for the AL Central title. But to win the division the Twins will need to erase a 2-game deficit this week.
Chicago has seven games to go. They play at Cleveland for four games and then wrap up the regular season Friday-Sunday at home against the Cubs.
Minnesota is off Monday, hosts Detroit Tuesday-Wednesday, gets another day off Thursday and then closes the season at home with three games against the Cincinnati Reds.
Considering the Twins are an MLB-best 21-5 at home and the White Sox have to face some really tough pitching, including Cleveland's Shane Bieber and Yu Darvish of the Cubs, erasing the 2-game deficit is certainly within the realm of possibilities for the Twins.
Winning the AL Central would likely see the Twins finish as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the playoffs, which would mean an opening playoff series in Minneapolis, probably against Cleveland, Houston or Toronto (the 6 or 7th seed).
But failing to win the division likely sees the Twins enter the playoffs as the 4 or 5 seed, which probably means a date with the Bronx Bombers, who are a virtual lock to be the 4 or 5 seed. And we all know what happens when the Twins face the Yankees in the playoffs.
- 2019: Yankees sweep Twins in ALDS (3 games)
- 2017: Yankees beat Twins in AL Wild Card (1 game)
- 2010: Yankees sweep Twins in ALDS (3 games)
- 2009: Yankees sweep Twins in ALDS (3 games)
- 2004: Yankees beat Twins in ALDS (3 games to 1)
- 2003: Yankees beat Twins in ALDS (3 games to 1)
Mix in the 2006 sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics and the Twins have lost an MLB record 16 consecutive playoff games – 13 of them against New York – dating back to 2004.