Records the Twins Can Set This Weekend
Image courtesy of © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY SportsBest Home Winning Percentage
Minnesota enters the weekend with the highest home winning percentage in baseball history. The Twins enter play on Friday with a 23-5 record at home, which calculates out to a .821 home winning percentage. In 1932, the Yankees went 60-15 at home and finished with an .805 winning percentage. In a quirky season, the Twins have also played an extra game at Target Field and that gets them closer to this record. To beat the Yankees record, the Twins need to win two out of their final three games against the Reds who are also fighting for a playoff spot.
Bomba Squad Part Deuce?
A year after setting the all-time home run record, the Twins are quietly close to leading the American League in home runs for the second consecutive season. It’s down to a three-team race with the White Sox currently leading the Twins and the Yankees by one home run. The Bomba Squad likely wants to beat Chicago and New York in the playoffs than beat them out for the home run title, but who says the team can’t have both. Hit a bunch of homers against the Reds pitching staff and let the rest take care of itself.
Lots of Sano Records in the Forecast
Miguel Sano has been his usual self this year with some incredible hot streaks and some incredible low streaks. He’s on pace to lead the American League in strikeouts, but The Athletic’s Jayson Stark points out some dubious company Sano can enter this weekend. Sano can become just the third strikeout champ to have twice as many Ks as hits joining Rob Deer (1991) and Mark Reynolds (2010).
That isn’t the only feat facing Sano this weekend. He enters the weekend with 11 singles and 12 home runs so far in 2020. Plenty of hitters have done this before, but no strikeout leader has finished a season with more home runs than singles. Sano has struggled in recent games, so some home runs before the playoffs might get him back on track.
If Sano collects another homer, he can tie Jacque Jones for 13th on the Twins all-time home run list. He’s also climbing the Twins leaderboard for most home runs through a player’s age-27 season. Sano (131 HR) is two home runs behind Justin Morneau (133 HR) for fourth on that list. Out of the other players on the list, only Harmon Killebrew played fewer games than Sano.
When Sano makes contact, it is usually with authority and he is on pace to lead the AL in average exit velocity this season. Currently, he sits at a 95.4 mph average exit velocity which is second best in baseball behind Fernando Tatis Jr. Other AL challengers include Matt Chapman (93.6), Mike Trout (93.6) and Teoscar Hernandez (93.4), but there may not be enough games left for the anyone to catch him.
With Minnesota’s walk-off win earlier in the week, the team has already had as many walk-off wins as in all of 2019. Last season, Twins walk-off wins were more allusive because the team scored 939 runs on their way to the all-time home run title. This season Minnesota’s +57 run differential is the second highest in the AL (trailing Chicago by 11 runs). Cruz, Polanco, Buxton and Kepler have all ended a game in dramatic fashion. Can the team add one more walk-off against Cincinnati?
Watch Me WHIP
Kenta Maeda won’t be pitching this weekend, but at the season’s conclusion he will enter some elite company when it comes to his WHIP total this year. Only two pitchers in baseball history, Clayton Kershaw and Pedro Martinez, have posted a WHIP lower than Maeda’s 0.75 WHIP this season. Martinez did it in 2000 on his way to his third Cy Young in four seasons, while Kershaw did it in 2016 when he was limited to under 150 innings.
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