Twins Daily Staff Predictions: Minnesota Twins
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How many games will the Twins win in 2021?
It’s challenging to predict anything after a 60 game season so here’s some helpful context. Didn’t it feel like the Twins struggled last year? Games were always close, the bullpen was always in high leverage spots, and there was an abundance of fairly lengthy injuries. That team was on pace to win 97 games in a full 162 game season. That fact, combined with the Twins getting the NL Central for interleague play has me believing the Twins Daily team is being overly conservative with the majority predicting 91-95 wins in 2021.
By how many games will the Twins win the Division?
None, they're not winning the division: 2
We have two moles discover! Two of our team picked the White Sox to win the division. I felt confident about the Twins chances of going back to back to back in the Central before the Eloy Jimenez injury, even more so now. The Twins April schedule yields 17 games out of 26 against sub .500 2020 teams. Team health for the Twins and the White Sox will surely be the most critical factor here.
Who leads the Twins in home runs in 2021?
Nelson Cruz: 10
Miguel Sano: 10
Josh Donaldson: 5
King Nelly has only one season in the last six with a wRC+ of under 140. Phew. Over the same span, Cruz has averaged 41 HR per season. Cruz and Sano are logical candidates to go head to head here. In 2020, Cruz’ HR/FB was 41%, compared to Sano’s 34.2%. Donaldson, meanwhile, is taking a Giants-esque every other season approach to massive home run totals, managing 37 with Atlanta in 2019, a season in which his HR/FB was 25.7%. Cruz remains the favorite until someone else takes the crown.
How many games will Alex Kirilloff play for the Twins in 2021?
If Kirilloff was called up on May 1, he would be available for the Twins remaining 135 games. That would be super sus of the Twins though, and open up the organization for just criticism about suppressing service time. The Twins have plenty of depth and options for the outfield between Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick, Luis Arraez and Brent Rooker. Make no mistake, Kirilloff is coming, and he’s going to be special.
Who leads the Twins in innings pitched in 2021?
Kenta Maeda: 14
Jose Berrios: 11
This is challenging to judge because Kenta Maeda so often functioned as a reliever with the Dodgers. He was on track to throw 211 innings last year over a full 162 game season. Berríos himself has been a picture of durability and averaged 198 innings pitched from 2018-19. This one is a toss up.
How many games will Randy Dobnak *start* for the Twins in 2021?
Dobnak’s recent extension proves he’s not just a feel good story. The Twins (rightly) believe in him. His openness and work ethic have drawn rave reviews from the front office. His newly developed slider may even give him more upside than he previously had. FanGraphs projects the Twins will use 11 starting pitchers this year, so 6-15 starts for Dobnak feels like a shoe in.
Who has more saves in 2021?
Alex Colomé: 16
Taylor Rogers: 9
Rocco Baldelli has been explicit about the Twins not having an official closer. Colomé, Rogers, Duffey, and Robles all have experience closing out games. In the instance of a tie, Colomé likely gets the nod, but the Twins will rely on data and matchups to put their relievers in the best possible spots to lock up games.
Who is your pick for 2021 Twins MVP?
Byron Buxton: 14
Josh Donaldson: 5
Nelson Cruz: 2
Kenta Maeda: 2
Luis Arraez: 1
Jose Berrios: 1
This outcome speaks to how tantalizing the thought of a healthy Buxton season is. Buxton looks stronger than previously this spring, will 2021 be the season we see 145 games from one of the most exciting players in the game? Fangraphs likes Donaldson for Twins MVP, and it would be hard to argue if he can stay healthy, he was locked in all spring. Perhaps the most encouraging anecdote from this category is the Twins have six players who were voted for, and a few more who it wouldn’t surprise you to hear about if they made the list. This team is deep.
Will the Twins finally win a postseason game in 2021?
Speak it into existence, Twins Daily team! I assume the same two grumps who predicted the Twins won’t win the division predicted their playoff drought will continue. I’m drinking the kool-aid, let's play ball, October here we come.
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