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  • That's The Ticket: Battle For The AL Central

    sponsored by Ticket King
    Your first place Minnesota Twins?

    Not yet, but with Detroit coming to town retaining a one-game lead, you could be hearing that phrase as early as tonight. In fact, if you don’t hear it Friday night, you might need to wait a while, because the Tigers are bringing out their big guns for games two and three. Granted, it's a pitifully low standard, but a game for first place, even in April, allows a guy to fool oneself that it means something. That’s my #5 reason to grab a great seat to tonight’s game at Target Field . But there are more:

    #4 – Get ‘Em BEFORE They’re Hot
    The Tigers scored the second most runs in MLB last year. This year they’re 27th on that list.

    Read that last sentence again.

    To be sure, they had some defections from their lineup, starting with Prince Fielder, who was traded to Texas for Ian Kinsler - but Kinsler really replaces Omar Infante, who signed with the Royals. The Tigers also lost Jhonny Peralta and then lost his replacement, Jose Iglesias, for the season with stress fractures in both of his legs. Their team OPS is almost 50 points lower than they finished last year.

    But that OPS is still 732, which is slightly higher than the Twins 730 OPS, and would be good for eighth in MLB. Detroit’s real problem is that they have only hit .212 with runners in scoring position. Coincidentally (or not) that also ranks 27th in MLB.

    That’s not likely to continue. A team that’s hitting .265 overall (6th place) is likely to see their clutch hitting progress to the mean, and with it, their offense. A turn against the Twins starting rotation might be just the thing to spark them. So I'm getting a ticket for Friday, before the Tigers get hot.

    #3 – Avoid the Aces
    The Tigers have a hell of a poker hand, getting dealt three aces in Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander. The latter two will take the hill on Saturday and Sunday vs. Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson. I like a challenge as much as the next guy, but criminy….

    Friday night’s game is a little more reasonable. Kevin Correia, who is the heavy favorite to win “Twins Man-crush Who They Will Angrily Justify Re-signing To A Stupid Contract This Offseason” Award, will face Rick Porcello. Porcello is no slouch – he’s sporting a nifty 3.15 ERA this year – but he also hasn’t won a Cy Young Award or ERA title yet. I’ll choose the game he starts.

    #2 – Sun > Rain
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Verlander pitch on Sunday, but there is no guarantee that we would see him pitch. Paul Douglas is describing it as “Cloudy and Soggy. I’ll take the highs of 65 on Friday and Saturday instead, thank you very much.

    #1 – The Offseason In Minnesota Is Long
    No, I’m not talking about the fact that the Twins season has basically been over by mid-August for the last three years. I’m talking about the insanely long and bitter winter, when wearing a Twins cap for any extended period of time leads to your ears CLIMBING INSIDE OF YOUR HEAD TO BEAT YOU ABOUT THE BRAIN REPEATEDLY.

    The Twins have a solution and it’s being given to the first 10,000 fans who show up to the Friday night game where the Twins take back the AL Central, however briefly. We’ll see you there.


    ~~~
    It seems like Minnesota agrees with me. You're going to want to get your tickets early, because tickets are scarce for Friday's tilt, with the cheapest being $19 at TicketKingOnline.com. Saturday, you'll find a lot more, with tickets starting at $12, with plenty on the lower level. Or, if you're a gambler by nature (or happy to come back later in the year for a possible rainout) you can find tickets for Target Field on Sunday for just $7. Plus, if you use the promo code DAILYDOUBLE, you’ll be supporting Twins Daily and get 10% off. Whatever your needs, your local ticket supplier, Ticket King, can help.

    ~~~

    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      This is going to be a tough series. I don't like the Twins chances if they can't pick up tonight's game.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Wish I could be there!
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      We have already faced Shields, Price and Sale among others. Its not like we are going to face Verlander and Kershaw 3 out of 4 games for the next 3 weeks. Lets face it. We are underdogs every series we play until we match up with Houston so these teams shouldn't be any more intimidating than anyone else. Pitch well and play well and let the chips fall where they may. I have found that being the underdog can give you some edge. Fielder was the difference in several games in the past. Lineup is good but not quite as intimidating as it was.
    1. Circus Boy's Avatar
      Circus Boy -
      I'm liking this team. Good energy, improved approach at plate, hope that starters come around. Maybe a good run is in its future.
    1. MileHighTwinsFan's Avatar
      MileHighTwinsFan -
      After taking 2 of 3 from Tampa - doing the same against the Tigers would definitely give this team some mojo, maybe short lived, but definitely a reason for fans to come to the park and check out this club.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      I'd like one of those hats.
    1. adjacent's Avatar
      adjacent -
      Not that much afraid of Sanchez of Verlander and Sanchez, but afraid that our starters will wake up the Tigers line up. Well, and afraid of Verlander and Sanchez too.
    1. chuchadoro's Avatar
      chuchadoro -
      Quote Originally Posted by Monkeypaws View Post
      I'd like one of those hats.
      Those hats are brought to you by the fine folks at Dairy Queen.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Tigers over-under from Vegas this year was 89.5. That's after winning 93 last year and having a Pythag of 100. They might be a little vulnerable this year.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Not so good game. But early.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      A share of 1st and TWO games over .500 on the line tomorrow. It's like September in May!
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Gibson certainly seems to be sliding into the ace slot; Price last time and now Verlander. It will be good to see how he responds after a tough outing in Tampa.
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