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Best Bets for the 2019 Twins

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 18 March 2019 · 2,340 views

minnesota twins jose berrios jonathan schoop eddie rosario nelson cruz
I’ve been waiting for this post all spring. It typically signifies that the season is just around the corner, and it’s always enjoyable to put something on the line when looking at what may lie ahead. Thanks to Bovada’s in depth odds offerings, we have a plethora of great Twins options to choose from. Looking back at the 2018 results things weren’t pretty. Thanks to a duo of underperformers and some bad luck, not much went our way. New season, new opportunity, let’s try to rectify that.

To provide some context for my thought process going into this, make sure you’re aware I have the Twins winning 92 games and taking the AL Central this year. If I’m going to be of that belief, I’ll need producers to back the potential reality. This obviously does leave positive-trending bets open to being exposed, but it also serves as a foundation for them being placed.

Jonathan Schoop O/U 22.5 HR

Minnesota quickly turned the page on Brian Dozier by targeting Schoop early this offseason. After the Brewers decided to non-tender him, the Twins scooped in and inked a new second basemen to a $7.5 million deal. 2018 was not kind to Schoop, and after being a first-time All Star in 2017, he plummeted to a .682 OPS. Obviously, the Minnesota front office is projecting a rebound for him in 2019, and the track record suggests that’s a fair assumption. Even while scuffling last year Schoop still parked 21 longballs, and that’s noteworthy. Yes, 17 of them came at Camden Yards, and yes, he hit just four in Miller Park, but this is a bet I’ll gladly make.

Over 22.5 HRs 3*

Eddie Rosario O/U 24.5 HR

Last season I took the under on this exact same bet, and Rosario hit 24 on the button. The left fielder swatted 27 back in 2017 and getting back towards that number seems like a fair bet. Rosario played in just 138 games last season and regressed a bit when it comes to plate discipline. After making strides for the 2017 season, he got back up to a 42.9% chase rate, and whiffed 12.7% of the time. Hopefully he can push those numbers back towards the 2017 marks and utilize a full season to generate complete production. I feel like Eddie is close to a finished product at this point, which makes this number seem like such a coin toss.

Over 24.5 HRs 2*

Jose Berrios O/U 190.5 K

During the 2018 campaign Minnesota’s ace tallied 202 strikeouts. He turned in four starts in which he reached double digits, but none of them came after June 24. On top of that, Berrios struck out five or less batters in 11 (of his 32) starts. The young Puerto Rican has the stuff to be among the games best, and a more consistent statistical output could elevate his overall impact. The double-digit games will still come but avoiding lumps in 2019 should make a dramatic impact as well. I like Berrios as a dark horse for the AL Cy Young (you can get him at 25/1), so I’d need to lean towards year-over-year improvement.

Over 190.5 K 2*

Jose Berrios O/U 12 W

This is another copycat bet from the 2018 season, and Berrios pushed on that number. In 32 starts he drew just 23 decisions and nearly posted a .500 record. This Twins club should be better than that one, and while pitching remains an unknown, there’s no denying who the ace of the staff is. Barring injury, Berrios will get the most turns, and this lineup should have no problem supporting good outings.

Over 12 W 3*

Nelson Cruz O/U 33.5 HR

When Derek Falvey went out and signed Cruz, he got the most prolific power hitter on the open market. No one has more dingers than Cruz since the 2014 Major League Baseball season, and he did all that work in the unfriendly confines of Safeco Field. Target Field’s left field line will be a welcomed site for the Dominican slugger, and it you though Brian Dozier was pull happy to the bleachers, well just get ready. Cruz is 38, and while father time is undefeated, give me the reliance on his power for the heart of this lineup. He hasn’t hit less than 37 taters since 2013 and he played in just 109 games at that point still working into regular playing time.

Over 33.5 HR 4*

Minnesota Twins O/U 84.5 W

The expectation of this bet should be obvious; I started this piece off suggesting 92 victories for Rocco Baldelli’s first season at the helm. Minnesota entered the 2018 season with an O/U like this mark, and it’s only because of the poor year that the number didn’t rise. Sure, the Twins should’ve done more to address their pitching. That said, Cleveland got worse, the White Sox aren’t yet ready, and the doldrums of the division are a dumpster fire. Indicative more of the small payout and long wait, the risk is simply to get skin in the game.

Over 84.5 W 1*

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • MnTwinsTalk likes this

Mar 18 2019 07:22 PM
Agree on all of them and I especially like the Jonathan Schoop bounce back possibility.
    • blindeke and HrbekRules like this
Mar 20 2019 06:25 AM

I'll drink to those. I still think the win total will largely depend on a Sano/Buxton bounce back. I'd be curious what the over/under numbers are on those guys. 

    • Platoon likes this
DieHard has an astute observation. Without the contributions of either Sano or Buxton, I doubt 92 is going to happen. I think Buxton will evolve into a major contributor. I hope he does, his talent is scary. Sano is another matter. It's been very hard to figure out exactly where he is at a lot of the time. If he can get everything together health wise and mentally his ability to mash baseballs is profound. But I think the getting it together thing is far more in question with him than it is with Buxton.
Mar 22 2019 06:54 AM

There a lot of puts and takes on performances this year which makes it difficult to accurately predict.Our record against the West and on the road in general was abysmal.To say that would happen again along with league leading 15 walk off losses seem improbable.Yet, with all the question marks in our bullpen and with our newly acquired players it seems a stretch to win 85 games.I hope am wrong, but I take the under on the win total.