From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
The final two weeks of the MLB regular season lacked serious drama in terms of compelling division races — unlike last season when two Game No. 163s were required — but this postseason could feature plenty of grab-your-edge-of-the-seat excitement.
There’s the Big Three of the Yankees, Dodgers and Astros, the strong immediates, including the Braves, Cardinals and Twins, and then eager wild cards in the Nationals, Brewers, Rays and A’s.
Here’s a quick look at the Yankees followed by take-it-for-what-it’s-worth predictions:
Yankees manager Aaron Boone and his staff will have to do their homework, figuring the team’s ALDS roster against the slugging Twins.
Questions abound: Will righty-swinging Luke Voit and lefty-swinging Mike Ford both be on the roster? How will pitcher Luis Severino, who spent most of the season on the IL, be on the mound? Will Cameron Maybin and Tyler Wade both make the roster as reserves? How will Giancarlo Stanton, Edwin Encarnacion and Gary Sanchez, who all have had their share of injuries in 2019, perform at the plate and in the field?
The Twins were the first team to smack 300 home runs in a season and produce five 30-homer hitters, but the Yankees finished with 306 blasts, one behind the Twins.
The Twins have lost 10 straight games and four ALDS (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and a 2017 wild-card game to the Yankees in the postseason.
The Yankees won four of six games against the Twins in the regular season, and, in the three-game series at Minneapolis in July, two of the best offenses in baseball destroyed each other’s pitching staffs.
The series featured 57 combined runs and 20 home runs. A 14-12 victory over the Twins in 10 innings July 23 that lasted 5 hours, 3 minutes was the most dramatic game the Yankees played this season.
Overall, the Yankees’ roster has 14 players with 10-plus homers, and the Twins had eight players hit at least 20 homers.
n AL/NL wild cards — A’s over Rays; Nationals over Brewers.
n ALDS — Yankees over Twins in 4 games; Astros over A’s in 5.
n NLDS — Dodgers over Nationals in 4; Cardinals over Braves in 4.
n Astros over Yankees in 7; Dodgers over Cardinals in 6.
n World Series — Astros over Dodgers in 6.
n Richie Rich’s Final Top 10 rankings in MLB: 1. Astros; 2. Dodgers; 3. Yankees; 4. Twins; 5. Braves; 6. A’s; 7. Rays; 8. Nationals; 9. Cardinals; 10. Brewers.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com