Yankees host Twins as Major League Baseball playoffs begin

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The rest of the Major League Baseball playoffs' opening round matchups start later this week. Boston won the AL East for the second-consecutive season, but look to avoid being bounced out in their first series again. Cleveland could have won a wild-card spot without Edwin Encarnacion, but maybe the pursuit of a division title pushed the team to sign him last winter. "We obviously handled it pretty well last year but hopefully even better this year".

This year's baseball playoffs expects to be a lot of fun.

The Los Angeles Dodgers won 104 games this year to capture the National League's West Division for the fifth straight year.

Winning 100 or more games during the regular season doesn't guarantee success.

The Indians will travel to NY or Minneapolis to play Game 3 on Sunday.

But the rest of the series was downhill for Minnesota. The Rockies have a 2-game lead over the Brewers and a 3-game lead over the Cardinals with three to play.

I'm getting ahead of myself with this talk of potential World Series matchups, but it is worth noting.

The Nationals franchise - which started in 1969 - has never won a World Series in Washington or Montreal.

WATCH Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner join Presidents Cup fans, pump them up
Still 2-up with just four to play, it looked as though the Americans would drop the opening match in heartbreaking fashion. World Number 1 Johnson caught fire on the back 9 and wrapped up the match for the US on the 16th winning 3 & 2.

If 2003 wasn't disappointing enough, then 2004 was another chance for Minnesota to redeem themselves, but it produced a similar fiasco.

Although Yanks' starter Severino has a hot arm, he's never played in the postseason at any level and whilst the NY offense is explosive, the Twins should prevail under starter Ervin Santana. It was another lead the Twins could have capitalized on but failed to, and it would be the Twins' last postseason victory to date.

Nationals host Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS matchup at 7:31 p.m. on TBS.

Minnesota would not go quietly in the following games. Game 4 was another extra-inning flop, capped off by an A-Rod score from third base on a wild pitch by Twins pitcher Kyle Lohse, who was credited with the 6-5 loss.

Johan Santana shut down the Yanks in Game of the 2003 ALDS but wasn't as successful in Game 4. The Twins could be offended by such a statement, except even their front office didn't believe in the team, trading closer Brandon Kintzler at the July deadline and also Jaime Garcia to the Yankees. 2016 was a disaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks after they made big moves in the off-season - spending $206m on Zack Greinke and a king's ransom in a trade for Shelby Miller - only to lose 93 games. The Colorado Rockies were a somewhat surprising third-placed finisher a year ago behind the Dodgers and Giants, yet their 75-87 record to get there - after losing 96 and 94 games in the previous two seasons - gave reason to be cautious about being too optimistic for their hopes in 2017. It was the Bombers' first postseason walk-off home run since Boone's in 2003.

Just like the Twins, the Arizona Diamondbacks did a complete about-face in 2017. "When we were thinking about partnerships to showcase the power of YouTube TV, Major League Baseball and the World Series was the flawless fit".

The most recent match between NY and Minnesota was in 2010, another series where the Yankees wouldn't budge, winning the series 3-0. If Arizona makes it out of the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday, will history repeat itself, or will the first baseman finally break through? They extended the Twins' postseason losing streak to 12 games, and were responsible for nine of those 12 losses.

Both defending league champions return to Major League Baseball's playoffs this season, but face stiff competition on their road to defending their pennants. The victor of the wild-card game will play Game 1 of its series against the Central Division champion Cleveland Indians at 7:30 p.m.

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