The Twins will likely be in New York playing the Yankees in the wild-card game on Tuesday, but there's an outside shot they could play in Boston.
For that to happen, the Yankees would need to erase a three-game deficit in the final four days of the regular season. New York plays Tampa Bay today and the Blue Jays Friday-Sunday. Boston has a much tougher final four games, all of them against the AL West champion Houston Astros.
A scenario that would be a huge plus for the Twins
The outcome the Twins should be rooting for is a tie between the Yankees and Red Sox, which would force the arch rivals to play an extra game on Monday to determine the division champion. The loser would then host the Twins in Tuesday's wild-card game.
The Yankees would likely start ace right-hander Luis Severino in the tiebreaker. Right now he's scheduled to start against Minnesota on Tuesday.
Here's what happens to Boston's rotation if they tie the Yankees.
- Chris Sale starts Sunday, leaving Rick Porcello to pitch the tiebreaker.
- If Boston loses the tiebreaker, they host the Twins on Tuesday.
- Boston top two starters would be unavailable, so they'd have to go with Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez or Doug Fister.
- Minnesota counters with Ervin Santana.
If the Yankees lose this hypothetical tiebreaker, the Twins still benefit because they wouldn't have to face Severino. Instead, they'd probably get Sonny Gray, who's been hit hard in two career starts against Minnesota.
None of this matters if the Yankees don't force a tie, but it's certainly worth considering as a possibility.