This is a piece I would do monthly last season along with my player/pitcher of the month here at Twinkie Town. I plan to bring both of those series back this season and the projection series will begin today. For these, I look at where projection systems have the Twins finishing in the division and talk about all the percentages made available to us. The opening projections for the Twins are looking great, so let’s get into it.
Usually I will be using Fangraphs for this projection post, but their projections haven’t come out yet, and Baseball Prospectus just released their PECOTA standings, so that is what I’m using.
As you can see here, the Minnesota Twins are projected to win the division while being the only team in the AL central to hit 90 wins. There are 1,000 simulations run in this system and the Twins took the division in 77.4% of them while making the playoffs nearly 90% of the time. For context, they are the fourth highest team in Div% behind the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros. They are also fourth in Playoff%, behind the same three teams. The Twins are also projected to have the fourth highest win total.
The Indians, who I think are the biggest threat to the Twins, are projected just 86 wins (t-9th total). They are confusing because they could finish anywhere in between 82-95 wins and no one would be too surprised. The White Sox, who I think were portrayed very accurately here, will be around .500 but still need a year or two to be true threats. Then we have Detroit and Kansas City... at least the Royals somehow made the playoffs in one simulation. Maybe they’re secretly a threat!
I know what you’re thinking: “Yes! A distribution chart!” Me too. This chart shows the breakdown of every simulation and how often each team finished with a certain amount of wins. I think you can even see the Royals playoff sim. Detroit is ugly, but the Twins shape stands out because of how much further ahead of everyone else it is.
This should be a fun season for the Twins. If after one month all of this is flipped and the Twins aren’t looking so good then that will suck, but I doubt it. Anyways, as the Cleveland Indians owner once said, enjoy it!