The Minnesota Twins are the only playoff-bound American League team certain of its fate this weekend and will continue to tune up for Tuesday’s wild card game. The Twins, who host the Detroit Tigers for the second of a three-game series on Saturday, will serve as the visitors in the one-game playoff at either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.
The Twins began their tune up on Friday with a 6-3 victory and activated slugger Miguel Sano from the 10-day disabled list in time to place him on the postseason roster, though they have yet to decide if he will get a spot on that 25-man roster. “We have had a nice flow. Our offense has obviously been really good the last several weeks, minus Miguel,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor told reporters. “But you are also talking about a pretty rare bat that has a chance to help you. We are going to have to figure out if there is a fit there, and if it’s going to make us better. I think everyone will understand, in that clubhouse, the potential of a healthy Miguel swinging the bat like he can. So you do, obviously, have to look at all angles.” The Tigers are fumbling toward last place in the AL Central and are on pace to record their most losses since the 2003 squad dropped a record 119 games. Detroit will try to pull off the win on Saturday behind right-hander Buck Farmer while the Twins begin what will likely be a bullpen game with rookie Aaron Slegers.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Buck Farmer (4-5, 7.33 ERA) vs. Twins RH Aaron Slegers (0-0, 7.36)
Farmer is making his second straight start against Minnesota and is hoping for a better result after serving up five runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings on Sunday. That loss was the third straight for the 26-year-old, who surrendered a total of 14 runs and 18 hits in 11 2/3 innings over those three outings. Farmer is trying to prove he belongs in the 2018 Detroit rotation but did not complete six innings in any of his last eight turns.
Slegers is getting the spot start in place of Jose Berrios, who will get extra rest in case he is needed in relief of Ervin Santana in the wild card game. Slegers is making his third career start and first appearance since Sept. 17 against Toronto, when he allowed two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning of relief. The 25-year-old was rocked for five runs on five hits - two homers - over four innings in his last major-league start on Sept. 6 at Tampa Bay.
1. Twins 2B Brian Dozier recorded multiple hits in five of his last six games.
2. Tigers 3B/RF Nick Castellanos pushed his career high to 26 homers with a blast on Friday.
3. Detroit could use UTIL Andrew Romine at all nine positions in Sunday’s season finale.
PREDICTION: Tigers 8, Twins 5