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Game Thread: Twins vs Reds, 9/27/20, 2:10 CT

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Forecasting the Twins upcoming 60 game season, based off the Virtual Twins

Posted by thuuuuney , 29 June 2020 · 1,824 views

maeda bomba twins champs
Forecasting the Twins upcoming 60 game season, based off the Virtual Twins We're a couple days away from Summer Camp opening up for the Twins and the rest of Major League Baseball, I can't wait for the shirts, and we're about 25 days away from Opening Day pending the official schedule release, so I thought it fitting to make my prediction about how the season will unfold for Minnesota. Everybody and their mom have done Virtual seasons, from Aaron Gleeman managing the club on OOTP Baseball, to Ted Schwerzler posting post-game reports on Twitter daily, to myself managing the Twins but also calling every game on MLB The Show, there's been a lot to follow here on Twins Daily.

I'm 23 years old and I can honestly say this has felt like the highest expectations for the Twins in my lifetime. Currently on Oddshark.com, the Twins are tied for 5th with the 2019 World Champs for the highest odds to win the World Series.
Screen Shot 2020 06 29 At 10.56.01 AM
This basis for the Twins success in those odds isn't all based on last year's historic season either. From adding arms like Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, and Tyler Clippard to one of the splashiest moves this off-season in acquiring the Bringer of Rain Josh Donaldson, the feeling throughout Twins Territory is that this team has a chance to have us partying on Nicolette Ave. come October (if we can even have parades by then). But how have those free-agent moves panned out for the Virtual Twins? Let's take a look and that and more through the first 60 games.

Firstly let's take a look at some of those Free-Agent acquisitions and how they have panned out:
  • Josh Donaldson: After starting the season with an 11 game hitting streak, the Bringer or Rain ran into a drought at the plate for Minnesota. After 60 games Donaldson was batting .250, 6 HR, 18 RBI, and was 2nd last among the tradition starting nine for Minnesota in RBI's (Arraez in last with 9 RBI's). Donaldson's bat has picked up some in late June but for the purposes of this outlook I'm only examining the first 60 games which goes to show how weird this season is going to be.
  • https://www.twitch.t...ulEmuPeteZaroll
  • Kenta Maeda: Throughout calling games for the Virtual Twins one of my favorite players to examine has been Maeda. in 54.2 IP, Kenta had racked up 83 K's and would have him registered with the highest K/9 in baseball except for the fact that he wouldn't qualify in regards to innings pitched. From his most dazzling performance against Oakland where he racked up 14 K's, to a 2.96 ERA, Maeda has been just what the doctor ordered for a reliable starter in the middle of the Twins rotation.
  • http://www.twitch.tv...ulEmuPeteZaroll
  • Homer Bailey: Before COVID-19 a talking point among Twins fans was how there was pitching to back up some notable starters who were still months away from joining the club like Michael Pineda and Rich Hill. Those pitchers included Jhoulys Chacin and Homer Bailey who were viewed as stop gap starters to hold the fort until reinforcements arrived, but in the Virtual season, Bailey was making a case to be the Twins ace. Through starting the year as a LRP and then being moved to the starting rotation after a rough open by Devin Smeltzer, Homer Bailey had the 2nd best ERA in the American League behind Gerrit Cole at 2.01 in 78.1 IP and despite the strikeout totals being significantly less than Maeda at 50, Bailey was missing bats and leading the Twins staff. A talking point among pitchers for Minnesota is how much Wes Johnson has helped in their development, could the same happen this real season to find whatever is left from Bailey's tenured arm?
Next, let's take a look at the AL Central Standings through 60 games and pillage through the rough to find out meaningful information:
Screen Shot 2020 06 29 At 11.52.00 AM

First of all in the Virtual season the Twins repeated as AL Central Champs (hooray!) but there are differences to how the real season will be played. 40 of the 60 games are against the division and extrapolating the data from the Division category the Twins would've gone 25-15 against the division in a 60 game season, meaning going .500 against the NL Central would more than likely guarantee a playoff spot. But as you can see minus a game the Indians had essentially the same record against the division so in theory it would be a tight race for the Central. This season is going to be 37% the normal size of a regular season so each game will feel immensely more important, it will be a tough race indeed for Minnesota.

Before closing with notable stats for the Twin's starting nine, I wanted to share some highlights we will sadly be missing this year due to the schedule realignment. We will first of all miss pitcher's batting with the Universal DH, so enjoy what could've been with Jose Berrios getting his first career RBI double (yes you read that right).Who knows what the postseason will entail, but we will miss the Twins playing the Yankees in the regular season, so enjoy Max Kepler completely dismantling the Bronx Bombers in New York.Finally, at least for the start of the year, we will miss being at Target Field. Moments like when baseball starts will still be special, but will be significantly different without fans in the stands.Finally let's take a look at the starting nine you can expect on day one for Minnesota and what their stats may look like come the end of the season
Screen Shot 2020 06 29 At 11.52.24 AM

Garver building off his silver slugger (at the time of game 60 he lead the MLB in Slg and OPS), Nelson Cruz not showing any signs of regression, Kepler and Sano flourishing in their prime, there are a lot of reasons to be excited as Twins fans. This season will be different than any other we've ever had and even though I hate the extra innings rule for a runner at 2nd, we should embrace the weird and enjoy, from what we can gather from the Virtual Twins, what looks to be a seemingly unforgettable year for Minnesota.

For those who want to follow along with the finale of my Virtual Twins project, you can keep updated here in the megathread.Also the plan moving forward for this project will go as follows: Sim to the playoffs on June 5th, Wild Card/ALDS July 5th-9th, if Twins make it, ALCS July 10th-14th, and finally if they make it, The World Series from July 19th-22nd/23rd depending on what the official start date is for the Twins, and it all can be followed at the Virtual Twins network, http://twitch.tv/thuuuuney.

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For whatever reason there was a blip with the highlight for Kenta Maeda so if you want to see him looking good in a Twins uniform, here's a highlight:

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Doctor Gast
Jun 30 2020 11:01 AM

The Bomba Squadhasbeen under rated & has shown up in the virtual game, they believe that they were a fluke. I don`t know how pitching will pan out in reality but Twins hitting are for real & will show up this season

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