Twins' Santana to start AL wild-card game

David Richard / USA TODAY Sports

Ervin Santana took the hill to face the Cleveland Indians on Thursday after the Minnesota Twins clinched a postseason berth the previous evening. The 34-year-old's next scheduled outing will be do-or-die.

The right-hander will get the start in Tuesday's American League wild-card game, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press.

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The Twins will face either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. With the Twins six games back of the Yankees for the top wild-card spot, there's no mathematical way Minnesota can host.

However, the Yankees could still plausibly overtake the Red Sox for the top spot in the AL East. Boston's magic number to clinch the division is down to two with four games remaining for each team.

Santana has been impressive across his 33 starts with the Twins this season, posting a 3.28 ERA over 211 1/3 innings. While advanced stats (4.46 FIP, 4.78 xFIP) are decidedly less optimistic, Santana has been a workhorse, throwing five complete games, including three shutouts.

If the Twins make it through to the next round to face either the Cleveland Indians or Houston Astros, they'd likely give the ball to Jose Berrios for Game 1.

The 23-year-old owns a 3.93 ERA and 3.86 FIP, although he's pitched nearly 70 fewer innings than Santana.

Twins' Santana to start AL wild-card game
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