With 126 games in the books and just 36 to go, the Twins are right in the middle of a playoff race. That's pretty incredible for a club that most people predicted would win between 70 and 72 games. Minnesota would have to go 7-29 the rest of the way to win just 74 games. At their current pace, they'll go 84-78 which - if you'll recall - was the optimistic pace I placed for them when we discussed the schedule a couple of weeks ago. I like to point out when I'm on the nose about something because it doesn't happen often.
Here's a few other things the Twins are on pace for.
- With 549 runs through 126 games, the Twins are on pace to score 706 runs. That's not far off the 715 mark they put up in 2014, which was the most they'd scored since 2010. Considering this club scored less than 620 runs in 2011 and 2013, passing the 700-run mark two seasons in a row is a nice step forward.
- In spite of being four games over .500, the Twins have actually been outscored by eight runs on the year. Their 557 runs allowed puts them on pace to give up 716 runs in 2015. That would be a massive improvement on years past. In 2010 Twins pitching gave up 671, and since they've surrendered 804, 832, 788, and then 777 last season. The bullpen has had its rough patches this year and the starting pitching may not have a true ace, but it's been good enough to keep them in the ballgame.
- Minnesota hit 151 home runs in 2013, and 128 last year. They've already smashed 120 this year, which puts them on pace for 154. That would be the most home runs for the Twins since 2009, when they hit 172 behind Michael Cuddyer's 32, Justin Morneau's 30, Joe Mauer's 28, and Jason Kubel's 28.
- Brian Dozier is on pace to play in 158 games this season, a career high. He's also on course to hit 33 home runs this year, the most by a Twins hitter since Josh Willingham slugged 35 in 2012.
- At his current pace, Trevor Plouffe would drive in 90 runs in 2015. That's a career high, but it would be the most RBI by a Twins batter since Willingham's 110 - again, in 2012.
- Dozier is also striking out once per game, which means he could whiff 158 times this year. That would be 29 more than his previous high of 129 last summer.
- Miguel Sano has played in 45 of Minnesota's 46 games since his call up. If he keeps pounding home runs at this rate and plays in 35 of the club's final 36 games, he could hit 21 home runs. That seems unlikely and the five home runs in his last eight games skew that total a little, but let's be honest - right now, I wouldn't put it past him. 21 home runs in, essentially, 80 games. That's bonkers.
- After taking just one free pass in Wednesday night's contest, Twins hitters have walked 314 times in 2015. At that rate they'll take 403 walks, which is a light year behind the 544 walks they coaxed last summer. In a twist from the first few points on this list, that'll be the fewest walks by a Minnesota club since the strike-shortened 1994 campaign. In fact, the Twins haven't taken less than 500 walks since 2011 when they tallied 440. While that's a terrible pace for walks, there are seven clubs in baseball who have walked less...sadly they all still have a higher team on-base percentage. Only the Padres, who have walked nine more times than the Twins in the same number of games, have a lower OBP. That's right friends - the Twins are in the playoff hunt while having baseball's 29th-best on-base percentage.
- Chris Archer took the loss last night, but he also struck out 12 batters in six innings. With that, Minnesota hitters have struck out 971 times this year. That's clocks them for 1,248 strikeouts in 2015, a step forward from 2014 (1,329) and 2013 (1,430).
- On the pitching side of the equation, Minnesota pitchers have struck out 772 this season - a 993 strikeout pace. That's less than last year, when the club topped 1,000 for the first time since 2010. 993 would be the second-best strikeout total for a Twins pitching staff in that period.
- Twins pitchers have walked 318 so far in 2015, which sets them on course for 409 this year. They issued 408 walks in 2014, and both of those numbers are big improvements over the period of 2011 - 2013, in which the pitching staff walked between 460 and 480 each year.
- Kyle Gibson has already thrown 152.1 innings this year in 25 starts. He should get a full 34 starts this year, health providing, which means he could finish with roughly 208 innings pitched. That's just 1.2 innings shy of Phil Hughes' inning total in 2014, and would so be the second-most innings by a Twins pitcher since Carl Pavano's 222 in 2011.
- Glen Perkins has 31 saves, which paces him for 40 this year. He was on the same course last summer before an injury derailed his stretch run. The Twins have to be hoping he can avoid those issues this year, but the jury is still out on that for a moment. He's pitched just once in the last 10 days.
- Finally, a few bits on Torii Hunter. He is on pace to hit 23 home runs this season. That would give him 215 as a Twin, which isn't enough for him to catch Tony Oliva for fifth on the franchise's all-time list (220). But it would give Hunter 354 in his career, which is impressive. If he'd have hit all of those in Minnesota, he'd be second all-time by a country mile.
- Hunter is on pace to strike out 107 times this season. That would give him 977 as a Twin, good enough to pass Kirby Puckett for third in franchise history behind Harmon Killebrew (1,629) and Bob Allison (1,033).
- He already has 17, and so Hunter is on pace for 22 doubles this year. That would give him 281 in his career - not enough to catch Justin Morneau, but it's still seventh in Twins history.
- Hunter is on pace for 792 RBI as a Twin. That's good for sixth all-time.
- He's doubtful to collect more stolen bases. With 128 to his name, Hunter is fifth all-time. In fourth place is Kirby Puckett, with 134.
- Hunter (1,315 hits) needs four more hits to pass Morneau for seventh all-time on the Twins leader board for hits. He won't catch Joe Mauer, who is already in sixth (1,665).
- With a current total of 144, Hunter needs one more double play to pass Rod Carew for sixth all-time in double plays grounded into, and three more to pass Gary Gaetti for fifth.
- Torii Hunter has played in 1,343 games as a member of the Minnesota Twins. If he can appear in 19 more games, he'll pass Gary Gaetti for eighth place all-time.
What else are our Twins on pace to do? Don't feel obliged to do what I did and go by the math - feel free to post your predictions for the season's finish below.