Ed note: Everyone say hi to Luke, he’s new to writing on the front page around these parts.
The Minnesota Twins came into their latest road trip with a 37-17 record, and had a huge task in front of them in the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have been one of the best teams in the league this year, so I didn’t have much confidence in the Twins to win the series. Boy, was I wrong.
After the series opener on Thursday night where Minnesota lost 14-3, I would have been happy walking out of Tropicana Field with series split. The Twins made me eat my own negativity as they would breeze through the next three games in pretty convincing fashion. Sunday’s game would get a little close as the bullpen collapsed slightly, but Taylor Rogers came in and made the Rays look like they were swinging their bats for the first time.
Minnesota currently sits at first place in the AL Central, and thanks to the Chicago White Sox beating the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, they sit 11.5 games clear of the second place teams. They are 40-18, and everyone in the Twin Cities is having a blast.
What lies ahead
The Twins now have three games with the Indians this week in Cleveland. This is possibly the biggest series Minnesota has played since the mid-2000s. The AL Central could be, dare I say it, over if the Twins sweep the Indians this week. There is a chance that on June 6, after all the games are played that day, there could be 14.5 games of separation in the Central.
I’m not saying that the Twins are going to sweep this week, but they could sneak two of three from the Tribe and still build on their lead. Cleveland will have Shane Bieber (3.67 ERA), Carlos Carrasco (4.98 ERA), and Trevor Bauer (3.87 ERA) on the mound. Minnesota will be putting out Devin Smeltzer (0.00 ERA), Martin Perez (3.71 ERA), and Jose Berrios (3.27 ERA).
The Indians have had a lot of facets of their game struggle this year, but their pitching has probably been the biggest let down. Corey Kluber won’t be back for a very long time, Carrasco hasn’t been the same as previous years, and Bauer has been on the struggle bus after his hot start.
The Twins will wrap up their road trip next weekend when they travel to Detroit. Hopefully, that series goes better than the last four game series in Minnesota where the two teams split.