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Game 40: Cubs at Twins

Ya ha ha!

San Diego Padres v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

First Pitch: 1:10 pm CDT

TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN

The Twins have lost 6 of their last 10, which is less indicative to me of on-field issues and more indicative to me that the hype for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom knew no bounds, and the entire 40-man roster has been absolutely consumed with anticipation for the better part of May.

But one man stands alone in the arena of mental fortitude — cranial gladiator Joe Ryan, whose age-26 season has been progressing swimmingly despite the release of long-awaited first-party Nintendo titles.

Ryan’s been putting up elite numbers on both sides of the coin; he’s 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA through seven starts, with more strikeouts than innings pitched — further, he’s squaring up top-percentile marks in statistics like barrel%, xwOBA, BB%, and chase rate.

He’ll face a .500 Chicago Cubs team who are likely decently surprised to find themselves behind the Pittsburgh Pirates this late into the season. The Cubs have been rebuilding on the fly after qualifying for five of six postseasons, then tallying losing records in consecutive campaigns.

COURTESY: Baseball Savant (click to expand!)

Eager not to send their faithful fans into another 108-year drought, Chicago shipped off the golden trio of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez within the same trading deadline, and have made sure the team remains passably-bad and not horrifingly-bad in the “prospectual” interim. (The time between now and when all their good prospects arrive, obviously.)

Fangraphs has the Cub system at #12 leaguewide (they have the Twins at #14, for reference) with no real front-liners but enough “could-be-league-average” depth to warrant a decent ranking.

Today, a team entirely comprised of former prospects will take the field in Minneapolis, and the Twins will try to even the series en route to a potential second straight victory during an interleague matchup.

They’ll do so with a slightly amended roster, to make sure that everybody gets a turn on the team Switch.