The Houston Astros jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Tampa Bay Rays in the best-of-five ALDS thanks to unhittable pitching from aces Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees out-slugged the Minnesota Twins 18-6 over the weekend to take a 2-0 series lead on the other side of the ALDS bracket.

Didi Gregorius New York Yankees ALDS
Yankees SS Didi Gregorius rounds the bases after crushing a grand slam in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. (Image: Getty)

The Twins and Rays are on the verge of elimination. Both teams are fortunate with Game 3 starts on their home turf.

“We’re not looking back, we’re looking forward,” said Twins OF Max Kepler. “We just have to play our baseball and believe in it.”

AL WORLD SERIES ODDS:
Houston Astros 3/2
New York Yankees 3/1
Minnesota Twins 66/1
Tampa Bay Rays 66/11

The Rays send their ace to the mound with Charlie Morton (16-6, 3.05 ERA) trying to fend off Zack Greinke (18-5, 2.93 ERA). You know you’re facing a sick pitching staff when Greinke is third in the rotation. He’d be the ace on like 25-plus teams in baseball. The Astros allowed only three runs in two ALDS games against the Rays, which is the reason they are 2-0. Verlander and Cole allowed only one run in 14.2 innings as starters.

Heading into Monday’s playoff action, the Houston Astros improved to 3/2 odds to win the World Series according to William Hill. The NY Yankees jumped from 4/1 odd to 3/1 odds to win the championship. Both the Rays and Twins are huge long shots at 66/1 odds.

With the Yankees and Astros both up 2-0 in their respective ALDS matchups, they continue on their inevitable collision course to meet in the ALCS.

Skid Hits 15 Games

The Twins continued their postseason losing streak. They set a new MLB record with 15 straight losses in the playoffs (including 12 losses against the Yankees).

With their backs against the wall, Rocco Baldelli’s squad hopes that Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.71 ERA) can finally stop the bleeding and break the wicked streak.

“Our guys know that we can turn it around,” said Baldelli.

Baldelli hopes his Twins can wake their bats up to avoid another sweep from those damn Yankees.

For the Yankees, last year’s ace, Luis Severino, gets the ball for Game 3. Severino missed most of the regular season save for three starts at the end of the season to shake off the rust before the postseason. With the Yankees up 2-0, manager Aaron Boone doesn’t want to let up. His savages want to finish off the Twins for a three-game series sweep.

Bombers vs. Bombas

The Minnesota Twins became the first team in MLB history to smack 300 home runs in a single season. The Twins also set a new MLB record this past season with 307 home runs. They edged out the Yankees, who bashed 306 home runs. The Yankees set a new franchise record, eclipsing last year’s mark which previously set the MLB record.

When the Twins and Yankees arms race spilled over into the postseason, the Yankees prevailed with better pitching. The Twins and Yankees both hit three home runs each, but the Yankees outscored the Twins 18-6 in two games. The Yankees manufactured runs the old fashioned way with base hits, and they also took advantage of a Didi Gregorius short porch-aided grand slam in Game 2.

The Twins averaged 5.8 runs per game in the regular season, which is one of the reasons they won 101 games. They scored six total runs in the postseason. Credit the Yanks pitchers, who limited damage from the Twins big bats. All three home runs the Yanks yielded (two by James Paxton and one by Tommy Kahnle) were all solo homers.

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