Ervin Santana will start for Minnesota.
Those Yankees teams that beat the Twins in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010 - though only one went on to win the World Series in those four seasons - were built on veteran talent and had years of postseason success upon which to draw.
The 6-foot-7 Judge set an Major League Baseball rookie record with 52 homers and even has a cheering section at Yankee Stadium - The Judge's Chambers in right field.
The Yankees finished the season second in the AL East at 91-71, while the Twins finished second in the AL Central at 85-77.
The Twins have a 2-12 record in the postseason against the New York Yankees.
The victor of tonight's game will travel to Cleveland for a seven-game series against the defending American League champs.
Miguel Sano, the Twins' hulking third baseman, was left off their roster for the one-game playoff, which begins 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Byron Buxton has emerged as one of the best center fielders in the game.More news: Cowboys plan to stand for national anthem on Sunday vs Rams
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The Twins were coming off a disastrous 103-loss season while the Yankees were transitioning to a younger core.
If Severino can pitch five good innings, Joe Girardi would be able to piece together the rest of the game with one dominant bullpen arm after another.
"If circumstances were different and we weren't playing Tuesday, I might have spent more time thinking about it, to be honest with you", Molitor said. He's attacking hitters. He's always getting in the good counts.
Perhaps most importantly in an elimination game, the Yankees have the better bullpen.
The Yankees Go Yard blog opens its game preview this way: "This is not the wild-card play-in game anyone expected in April. It means a lot", said Santana, who grew up in the Dominican Republic. The Twins offense played well in September as well, and they're a team we shouldn't take for granted going into the playoffs.
"I feel good about our chances", Brett Gardner said. "There's only 10 teams that get to play into the postseason, and we're one of them". Led by fireballing closer Alrodis Chapman, who picked up 22 saves and Dellin Betances, striking out 100 batters for the fourth straight year, the Yankees also feature depth with set-up men David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle as well as the versatile Adam Warren. A win would put the Twins in an ALDS against Cleveland, where Minnesota may need an experienced arm like Colon (5-6). "Whether he's going to start or not, I still haven't inked it in yet, but I'm waiting to have him on the bench".
Colby Rasmus and ex-Twin Carlos Gomez hit solo homers in the second and fourth innings, respectively, and 2015 Cy Young Award victor Dallas Keuchel cruised through six shutout innings on three hits and seven strikeouts. The Yankees will roll with 23-year-old Luis Severino in this Wild Card game.
Colon said he plans to pitch in the big leagues next season.