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Charley Walters: Twins-Saints partnership talks quietly o...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:59 PM
Very interesting article in Pioneer Press from Charlie Walters. https://www.twinciti...uietly-ongoing/ There’s been a few suggestions in...
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Twins Scrimmage Highlights

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
If you missed the live stream of Thursday's scrimmage, here's a quick roundup of highlights:  
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Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Virtual Twins Playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 01:33 PM
With the real Twins around the corner, I have elected to sim to the playoffs to try and tease how the real club will do this fall, and as...
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Take Landis Name off the MVP Award

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:46 AM
Barry Larkin, former MVP, has been calling for removing the Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from MVP awards.Personally, until I read the art...
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And then there is the case of the Blue Jays to consider

Other Baseball 10 Jul 2020
https://www.sportsne...measures-place/ Here we are, theoretically two weeks away from Opening Day. The Blue Jays aren’t yet certain where...
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5 Twins Over/Unders in Shortened Season

Commissioner Rob Manfred is confident that MLB and the MLBPA will strike a deal to start the 2020 season. The proposed agreement reportedly includes an 82-game season. Let’s look at some Twins over/unders in that scenario.
Image courtesy of © Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
1. Byron Buxton games played: 60.5

As has been pointed out all offseason, the Twins are simply better when Buxton is in the lineup. He was getting close to returning from labrum surgery as the league shut down in March, and he should be close to 100% by early July.

In a normal 162-game schedule, manager Rocco Baldelli likely would’ve eased Buxton back into play with routine off-days throughout the year. In what is now a sprint, I expect him to play more regularly. Still, the injury risk remains. Are you taking the over or under?

2. Nelson Cruz home runs: 21.5

Cruz homered in nearly 8% of his plate appearances in 2019. The universal DH is all but implemented, so king Nelly will get to terrorize the National League on the road this summer. I have him pegged for 290 to 320 plate appearances.

If the missing tendon in his left wrist doesn’t bother him too much, Cruz could easily push for the home run crown in 2020. An 8% home run rate in 300 plate appearances would give him 24 bombas, but I accounted for the long flyouts at Busch Stadium in St.Louis. Are you taking the over or under?

3. Luis Arráez batting average: .320

Arráez hit .334 in 92 games last year. In a smaller sample in 2020, the possibility of higher averages, on-base percentages, and slugging percentages skyrockets. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arráez matched or surpassed his numbers from 2019.

I also wouldn’t be shocked if the league makes an adjustment and Arráez struggles to respond. When I say “struggles,” I mean hitting .290 instead of .334. This kid can hit. Are you taking the over or the under?

4. Twins Cy Young awards: 0.5

Bear with me here. I think Kenta Maeda has a very real chance to be the Twins’ best starter this year. His strikeout numbers are outstanding, his slider is disgusting, and he gets righties out better than any starter in baseball.

Betsy Helfand reported Friday that Rich Hill says he’s ready for the planned opening day in July. When healthy, he’s among the best starters in baseball. José Berríos was a Cy Young contender at the break last year, and won’t have to deal with a 200-inning workload this summer. Are you taking the over or the under?

5. Mitch Garver OPS: .888

Garver posted a .995 OPS in 93 games last year. How many games he will play in a condensed season remains to be seen. Assuming he gets about a 75/25 split with Alex Avila, he may play around 61 games.

Garver’s elite plate discipline and ability to destroy fastballs in the zone have propelled him to Mike Piazza-like heights. The reigning Silver Slugger winner is not close to done, and with some regression built in, should hover around the .900 mark in OPS this summer. Are you taking the over or the under?

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I take the over on the first 3 due to history, age, and again age.  I will take the under on the last two.  Not convinced Maeda is Cy material but he does have talent and great splits against righys, so that is low odds, and I think Garver is in his prime and will crush, so under on the last two.

    • ashbury likes this
Equal or over on everyone except Arraez.

Bad luck runs out eventually. While he might miss a few games, Buck will flash!

Cruz is Steve Austin...the bionic man...and will mash as long as his wrist holds out. Might be a sort of farewell tour, but he will be ready.

Maeda is damn good. He's changed his approach somewhat, and is coming off his best season against LH hitters. Also, new league that doesn't know him as well.

Garver's bat is for real. And while he won't have to play daily, he also doesn't have to worry about being worn down. I expect some regression, but he will be above the .888 mark.

Hunch on Arraez says he will be just fine but sophomore "slump" will factor in and he won't hit .320. Might hit .319, but I think he returns to mere mortal status for a season.
    • ashbury likes this

'Fraid I take the Under on all except #1, and that one is due to sheer blind optimism on my part. :) As I understand an over-under bet to be approximately equal odds for money, these lines are all set entertainingly high.

Wishfully thinking and hoping for overs on Buxton, Cruz and Garver. If Arraez bats .315, I'll be more than pleased. I'll take the under. You can't assume a Cy Young for anyone, including Gerrit Cole, so that's an under.


How about an 0.5 for Sano winning one (or both) of the following:MVP/HR leader. I'll get the ball rolling on that one with an over!

    • ashbury, DocBauer and HitInAPinch like this

Over, under, over, under, over.Now lets hope we have a chance to find out!

May 18 2020 10:15 AM
Over on 1, 2, and 5.
2 and 5 are tied to assuming they'll bring back the bouncy ball, which they have every reason to and 1 is blind optimism.

3 and 4 are fun, but I think it's too short of a time frame for Arraez to adjust to the league adjusting to him. As for Cy Young, even if one of those three put up video game numbers, I assume one of the current "big names" in the East or West will put up close to the same numbers against "tougher competition"

Over on all but Cy Young. I want that to happen, but I don't think we have enough of a big name. And if Gerrit Cole stays healthy, the Yankee bias will previal on the "experts" and he will win the Cy Young...

May 18 2020 01:48 PM

I would dearly love to be wrong about this, but so long as Cole, Verlander, Morton, Giolito, Bieber, et al. are in the league, the odds of a Twin winning the CYA are little better than average, as one out of 15 AL teams.


With this lineup in particular, it would be sad to not see them play. 


But I keep thinking about autumn, and the playoffs, when dominant pitching comes to the fore. As deep and potentially dominating as our lineup is, I'd happily trade some of that for a bit more dominance in the rotation. 


May 18 2020 02:22 PM

I think the real question will be whether someone can hit .400 in a shortened season... 

    • ashbury, Minny505 and chinmusic like this

Due to the season being projected to start right at the beginning of North America's hottest two month stretch, I expect offensive numbers to be off the charts at the outset. 


On top of that, hitters are always in front of the pitchers at the start of the season, further compounding that inflated offense. 


The only wild card here is the ball that MLB puts on the field. Even so, I still expect 10 run averages on games...and may invest on this theory.


As such, here are my prop wagers you have on the board:


1: Buxton 60.5 GP - OVER 

This is pure optimism. The only reason to believe this is that my perception is he largely has missed games at the MLB level due to unproductive play, not to injury. Here's to hoping that unproductive play is a thing of the past.


2: Cruz 21.5 HR - OVER

22 or more is not outlandish and with my inflated offense theory, 21-25 HR's seems reasonable.


3: Arraez .320 BA - OVER

While I think the league will adjust to him, I don't think it will be enough to hold him down that much in an inflated offensive environment.


4: Twins Cy Young Winner - UNDER

Huh? The Twins are built on depth, not high end talent. I hope I am wrong here, but this one seems like the most obvious bet that cannot be even odds.


5: Garver OPS .888 - PUSH (Have you ever even ran a sports book? You can't use an attainable number. You need to go something like .8885 here!!! :P Just playing bud. I'll take the) OVER

I expect Garver to play 50 or so games at catcher. His approach and swing seem like the kind of combo that is hard to pick apart, since pitchers will have to throw fastballs for strikes at some point. In an inflated offensive environment, I don't see .889 or higher as all that unlikely.


Obviously, if I am wrong about the scoring environment, I'm losing my entire bankroll here...