Twins Have Luxury of Home-Heavy Schedule Through May
Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsFriday night, the Twins start a 10-game homestand, which is tied for their longest of the season. In fact, 16 of the team's next 22 games will be played at Target Field and 28 of the next 43.
Since Target Field opened in 2010, the Twins have a .461 winning percentage at home versus a .425 mark on the road. If we just assume the team plays to those averages over the next 43 games, they'll go something like 19-24. In other words, they'd head into June a couple games under .500.
That would be pretty exciting stuff from a team that some idiot (me) suggested could lose another 100 games this year.
I realize that's probably about the least-sensical prediction method you could come up with, but the point is this: Even if the Twins play exactly like they have over the past six seasons (poorly), they should still have a respectable record a month and a half from now.
This early, it's hard to draw many conclusions, but we should know a lot more about this 2017 Twins team a week from today. Despite the home-heavy schedule ahead, the Twins face some tough tests. They're going to get a feel for what's it's like facing the cream of the crop in the American League. Not that a team coming off 103 losses can talk, but the Royals, White Sox and Tigers aren't exactly projected to be world beaters this season.
Chicago is in town this weekend, but Monday the Twins open a four-game series against Cleveland. A week later, the Twins travel to play three games against the Rangers and the first weekend of May the Twins host the Red Sox. The results against those three defending division champions should serve as an excellent measuring stick to determine if this hot start for the Twins is legit or a mirage.
It's also worth noting that things could get especially difficult in June. The Twins open the month with a 10-game West Coast road trip and play a total of 37 games in 39 days before heading into the All-Star break. Luckily, sandwiched in the middle of that streak is another 10-game homestand.
But hey, that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. For now, let's just soak up the sunshine of 6-3 and look forward to seeing the Twins at Target Field on a regular basis through the end of May. We may not be able to know how it's all going to play out, but it sure has been a fun start.
-The Twins scored 11 runs in their victory over Detroit Thursday. The 2016 Twins scored a grand total of 14 runs over their first nine games and didn't score double digits in a game until Jun 21, when they beat the Phillies 14-10.
-The White Sox already started some measure of a rebuild this offseason, but if the Royals and/or Tigers get off to poor starts they could also go into fire sale mode.
In KC, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain are all set to become free agents at the end of the season. And there is something of a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the Tigers after the death of their excellent owner Mike Ilitch, who was always willing to stretch the payroll if he felt it increased the likelihood of his team winning a World Series.
This year, maybe more than ever, it's very important to get off to a good start in the AL Central. The division already doesn't look particularly strong, but in the second half a few of the teams could gut their rosters and become complete pushovers.
-Next month, the Twins will play 18 of their 27 games at home. Last May, they played just 10 of 27 at Target Field. The terrible start to 2016 crippled that team, but having a tough schedule in May made it very difficult for them to get things back on track.
-On this date a year ago, I wrote a blog post at Twins Daily titled Finding Hope At 0-8. In it, I did some similar nonsensical math, saying the team was really only four or five wins off the pace from what many of us had expected, meaning they only had to win one extra game a month than we had originally projected them for. Things ... um ... did not work out that way.
This is a great opportunity to point out that anybody can start up their own blog at Twins Daily and write whatever they'd like. Even if you write something that ends up being comically wrong, like I did, there's a chance you could get your article promoted to the main site.
At the very least, hundreds (if not thousands) of Twins Daily readers will read what you've written, you'll get some comments and I promise you'll have fun.
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