In case you haven’t noticed, the Twins are good. And by good I mean they are a top three team in all of baseball at this time. Before the season began and before I started writing at this website, I had them at 92 wins and winning the central. Of course I can’t prove that but just believe me. I may have underestimated this team.
The projections from Fangraphs weren’t as kind to the Twins. Before the season began, Fangraphs had the Twins at a 35.8% to make the playoffs and only a 11.1% chance of winning the division. They were also projected to win anywhere from 78-84 wins and that has now solidified at a projected 89 (that’s still low). Here is the AL central prediction to start the season:
This next chart will be the updated standings after the Twins sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, along with the +/- from the start of the season:
The Twins have taken a huge leap towards the playoffs (along with the Tigers of course) and the Twins are finally seeing some recognition. They are ranked 7th for their chance to win the World Series and that’s obviously really good.
The Twins have the best lineup in the division (it’s not close). They have the best bullpen in the division, and with the recent injuries to Kluber and Clevinger of the Indians, the Twins may have the best rotation in the division.
In order to have as good of a start as the Twins had, you need some keys to your success. Here are a couple things that I see as the most impactful:
•Next man up mentality. This means every day there is a different hero for the Twins. Whether it’s a Jorge Polanco cycle or an Ehire Adrianza solo home run off of Justin Verlander, there is always a different guy leading the Twins to the win. For example, in the 9-1 win against the Blue Jays, the Twins 3-hole hitter Nelson Cruz went 0-6 with 3 K’s and the Twins STILL scored nine runs. This goes for the pitching too. The emergence of Martin Perez and the bounce back of Jake Odorizzi have been as impactful as any bat in the lineup.
•Resiliency: The Twins are the only team in the MLB without a three game losing streak. They have only lost two games in a row twice all year long. Their record after a loss so far is 10-2. This team does not dwell on their losses at all. They just go out the next day and show that they are the better team.
One of the best parts about the Twins success is that the Indians are actually struggling more than most thought they would. Here is a final graph to show that struggle along with the Twins success.
The bottom line here is that the Twins are talented. If you haven’t bought into them yet, you may want to just come and enjoy the ride!