Happy Friday, everybody! Welcome back to another weekly discussion. September baseball is now in full swing, as the Twins are in the midst of a heated divisional race. The next week and a half will all but decide the fate of the AL Central, but let’s look forward to October anyway. The Twins are all but assured a spot in the playoffs with the expanded format in play this year, regardless of how the division plays out (I don’t know if I could stomach a White Sox division title, but that’s another story).
Who would you pick for the Twins’ first-round playoff opponent? We’ll ignore the likely matchups and seeding, as this is very much up in the air. However, amidst the current AL playoff teams, which would you pick to play in the three-game first round?
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Oakland Athletics
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Houston Astros
- Minnesota Twins
- New York Yankees
The Twins are currently in the lowest spot they’d likely occupy, but have the opportunity to land anywhere from 1-4. However, seeding ignored, who would you pick for the Twins to play?
First off, I want no part of Cleveland in a three-game series. The Twins have acquitted themselves nicely against that squad this year (with three games to go), but they have the best starting pitching in the American League, which could be tough to overcome in a three-game series. Not to mention a real Twins-killer in shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Next up, I’m going to eliminate Tampa Bay from contention. They also have 3 very strong starting pitchers and an excellent bullpen. Their lineup, like Cleveland’s, is nothing to write home about, but the Twins have yet to really prove they can put up big numbers on offense this year either.
Thirdly, I don’t care that the Yankees have been one of the worst teams in baseball for the past month. I don’t want any part of the Yankees. We’ve been down that road to many times, and it’s going to be a hard pass from me.
I think I’d like our chances with the remaining teams. The Athletics are the best of the bunch, with an excellent bullpen and a decent lineup, but not great starting pitching. The Astros and Blue Jays are both pretty toothless teams, at least barring a Justin Verlander comeback. The Twins have beat up the White Sox pretty well this year, with four games to go, and their pitching outside of Giolito is not scary. It would also be pretty sweet to boot the cocky upstart Sox out of the playoffs.
I think my pick would probably be Toronto. They’re a young team that isn’t really dominant in any one area of the game. The Astros are very experienced, the Athletics are flat-out the best of those four teams, and the White Sox do have a pretty formidable lineup.
What do you think? Who would you like to see the Twins face in the first round of the playoffs? Let us know in the comments!
Which team would you like the Twins to face in the first round?
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