Here's 3 things the Twins need to do to beat the Yankees

It's easier said than done.
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The Twins are in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The Twins are in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Yes, the Twins are entering the house of horrors that is Yankee Stadium – a place where they've historically struggled.

However, in a winner-take-all situation, you don't have to be the best team over a course of a series; you just have to be the better one for (at least) nine innings.

Baseball can be unpredictable, but if Minnesota is able to do the following, they should be able to best New York and move onto the Divisional Round.

Get a lead early

You have to get an early lead on New York, otherwise their super bullpen will make this a miserable time. Luis Severino will be the starting pitcher for the Yankees. Minnesota bopped him pretty good on Sept. 20., in what was his shortest start of the season.

Severino lasted just three innings as the Twins chalked up three runs while drawing six base runners against him. Although the flame-thrower has a fastball that hovers near the triple digits, Minnesota is one of the best fastball hitting teams in the league.

If Severino leans on his heater, the Twins lineup should be able to park a few baseballs in the shallow Yankee Stadium bleachers.

Do the little things

It's a bit open ended, but when the Twins get a runner on, the next man up has to do their job.

If Byron Buxton lands on first, he has to steal a bag.

If there's a chance to tag up for a sacrifice fly, be ready to run.

If someone fleet-footed reaches base late in the game, sub in a pinch runner.

These all seem like "no duh" kind of things, but they're the kind of situations Minnesota has to capitalize on to be victorious.

Keep Sano on the bench

This will be probably be a storyline all offseason: "How good could the Twins have been if Sano didn't get injured?"

Sano missed the majority of the last six weeks with a calf strain, despite the team playing its best baseball. He was able to come back for the final series of the regular season, but he saw limited pitching.

Minnesota would probably be better served to have Robbie Grossman and his .361 on-base percentage in the starting lineup. 

However, Sano can change a game with one swing of the bat. So why not play to that strength and have him pinch-hit in a situation where you need that? Whether that's late in the game or when the bases are juiced, that's something manager Paul Molitor will have to think about during the course of the game.

But again, baseball is a cruel game and there's no blueprint on how to win a coin-flip game that is a winner-take-all Wild Card.

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