As we know, the Twins have had problems scoring runs in the early going. Their 3.6 runs per game is only better than the Royals in the AL, masking what has been a good start by the rotation. We also know that it's early. Is that all it is? Small sample? Will things get better? What's been going on?
I think it's almost a certainty that things will get better, if by better we mean they will score 3.6 runs per game. That would result in 583 runs for the year. I'm confident it will be better than that.
Still, there are some numbers that indicate to me some deep seated problems that I suspect will hold back the offense. First: they aren't having bad luck on BABIP. They are currently T-4 in the AL in BABIP, at .301. This is true even though they have the lowest LD% in the league. We can hope the LD% increases a little, but I doubt they will see their BABIP increase significantly.
Here's where the problem is: they are 3rd worst in the AL in P/PA, last in the league in walks, and they have the highest GB% in the league. This scares the hell out of me, frankly. They are swinging early and hitting ground balls, Not a good combination. It results in a relatively high number of singles, lots of early outs, and lots of double plays. (They are 5th in GIDP despite being last in OBP). It also results in relatively easy outings for opposing pitchers, since they are getting a lot of outs in 1-3 pitches.
What it does not result in is any power at all. In a game that requires patience and power, the Twins have neither. And while I'm confident things will get somewhat better, it's difficult to see where the significant change comes from. The Twins have an approach that doesn't encourage patience. They lack the players to hit for a lot of power.
I said at the beginning of the year I thought they would score 725 runs--a low total just a few more than last year. I wouldn't change my prediction at this point, but I'd be comfortable taking the under.