The #new york yankees advanced to the 2017 divisional round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins in Tuesday-night action by a score of 8-4. The result continued a pattern of dominance over the Twins that has characterized their playoff match-ups this century.

Yankees eliminate familiar foes

Additional to 2017, the New York Yankees also eliminated the Minnesota Twins in the 2010 playoffs, the 2009 playoffs, the 2004 playoffs, and the 2003 playoffs. In all of the games that the two teams have played this century in the playoffs, the Twins have only won two of them. Their heads-up record against New York in the postseason is now 2-13 this century.

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You have to go back to the 2004 divisional round to find a series where the Twins were able to win a game off New York. With the loss on Tuesday night, Minnesota's World Series title drought will continue. The last time the Twins won the World Series or appeared in it, was back in 1991 when Kirby Puckett was the best hitter on the team. That year they defeated the Atlanta Braves in a classic seven-game series.

In advancing to the divisional round through Minnesota, New York's top-of-the-order hitters all produced. The top-four hitters in the lineup combined for 15 at-bats and had seven hits. Those players, which included Aaron Judge, also drew three walks. Judge also had a homerun in the game, a very significant and positive performance for the Yankees. He is making his postseason debut.

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Judge was New York's best hitter during the regular season and seeing that the pressure of the playoffs hasn't changed him for the worse, could be said to bode well for the Yankees' chances going forward. Certainly, accomplished regular-season players in the past have stalled in the playoffs, and for New York fans, Judge's at-bats will be very assuring.

Next up, the Cleveland Indians

The Yankees will next face the red-hot Cleveland Indians in the divisional round. The Indians charged into the No. 1 seed in the American League playoffs with a tremendous run of form over the last several weeks of the season. Their series will start on Thursday night with Progressive Field hosting the game.

The bad news for the Yankees is that they did have to burn some arms in the victory over Minnesota. Starter Luis Severino didn't escape the first inning and that created some multi-inning relief assignments. Five pitchers appeared in the AL's #Wild Card Game for New York and that will give the Indians an edge. Whereas the Yankees will start Thursday on one day's rest the Indians will be starting the series on several days' rest.

#Al Wild Card