- April 4th - Opening Day
The two "aces" for each respective team will get things started: Scott Baker for the Twins, and Jared Weaver for the Angels. The Angels start 2010 with a largely different roster; gone are the days of John Lackey, Chone Figgins, and Vlad Guerrero - replaced by Hideki Matsui, Joel Piniero, and Fernando Rodney. Yet, let us not underestimate the Angels, whose manager, Mike Scioscia, always manages to get the most out of his players, very much like Ron Gardenhire.
Based upon past results, if history is anything to trust (which it is), Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Jason Kubel should have some pretty good games to start the year. The two starting pitchers for Game 1 were extremely similar in 2009: Baker (15-9, 4.36 ERA, 162 K); Weaver (16-8, 3.75 ERA, 164 K).
Predictions for Opening Day: Twins win 6-3 --- Mauer 2-4, 2 RBI Double - Morneau 1-4, RBI single - Span 1-3, 2 BB, 1 SB
- April 5th
Blackburn faces Joe Saunders in the second game of the series. Saunders, when healthy, can be a very good pitcher, so this will largely depend upon Saunders health to start the season. If Saunders is on his game, I predict the first Twins loss of the season.
Predictions: Twins lose 4-3 --- Thome 1-2, 2 BB, 1 HR - Cuddyer 1-4, 2 run homer
- April 6th
Carl Pavano will take his first turn in the rotation as he squares off against Ervin Santana. Santana has had a rough few seasons, although it appears that he might finally become a good pitcher. Santana has dry spells, in which he gives up a lot of runs, but then he will turn right around and go on a hot streak, striking out about 8 per game. This game depends on how Santana starts the season - hot streak or cold snap?
Predictions: Twins win 8-5 --- Pavano, 6 IP, 4 R, 2 HR, 3 K - Hardy 3-4, 3 RBI - Young 2-3, 1 BB, 2B
- April 7th
Kevin Slowey will face off against Joel Pineiro. Pineiro is an extreme ground ball pitcher, but somehow manages to give up a couple runs in his starts. If Friday is any indication of Slowey's season, prepare to buckle down for a great season for Kevin Slowey.
Predictions: Twins win 4-1 --- Slowey, 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K - Mauer 3-4, RBI - Morneau 1-3, 2 Run Homer - Hudson 3-4, fine defensive play
Twins win series 3-1, scoring 21 runs over 4 games while allowing 13 runs to score. So, what are your predictions for the first four game series of the season?