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Article: The Final Three Weeks

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:03 AM

The Minnesota Twins had a day off on Monday. Some of the players went to the Minnesota Vikings season opener. Hopefully all of them got some quality rest. The Twins now have 19 games in the next 20 days. And that's assuming there isn't a Game 163, which the Twins have a bit of experience with.

Let's take a look at the Twins' opponents over these final 19 games.The Twins have just one off-day (on Monday, September 25th) remaining. Other than that, it's full-steam ahead toward the regular season's finish line. There remain high hopes among players and fans alike that the season will continue beyond the regular season's final regularly scheduled day (Sunday, October 1st).

The opponents over the final 19 games comprise an interesting mix of teams. There are a couple of teams playing out the string. There is one team that pretty much never loses. And there is one team that the Twins have some hopes of catching before the end of the season, likely in an attempt to get to play them one more time.

Here is a quick look at the remaining opponents on the Twins:

San Diego Padres (September 12-13): The Twins played two games in San Diego earlier in the season, and now they will play their final interleague games, starting tonight. The Padres are 65-79 on the season. However, the team just came off of a series in which they won two out of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The weekend before, they won three out of four against the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting their losing streak. In between, they lost three out of four to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Toronto Blue Jays (September 14-17): The Twins will play four games at home this weekend against the Blue Jays, a team that has had their number in recent years, but the Twins won two out of three in Toronto in late August. The Blue Jays beat Baltimore on Monday, and before that they won two out of three against the Tigers. Before that, they lost two out of three to the Red Sox.

New York Yankees (September 18-20): The Twins will travel to the Bronx to take on the team they are chasing for the top wild card position. They are currently four games behind the Yankees for that spot, but that could be different in a week. This is a good Yankees team, but it isn't your older brother's Yankees. Derek Jeter isn't going to walk through that door. Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams aren't going to walk through that door. And if they did... Well, they're still a very good team, obviously, illustrated by being 13 games over .500. They beat Tampa Bay last night. Before that they won two out of three games in September series against the Rangers, the Orioles and the Red Sox (technology and all).

Detroit Tigers (September 21-24 (away), September 29-October 1 (Target Field): The Twins and Tigers will play seven times down the stretch. That should be a good thing for the Twins. The Tigers are currently 60-83 and challenging the Chicago White Sox for the cellar in the AL Central. Of course, the White Sox were trying to be bad this year (acquiring tons of top prospects along the way). The Tigers have traded some of their players, like JD Martinez and more recently, Justin Verlander. Victor Martinez is out for the year. These can be tough games though. This month, the Tigers have lost all five games they've played against Cleveland, and by a combined score of 5-40. They lost two out of three to Toronto this weekend, but before that, they won two out of three against the Royals.

Cleveland (September 26-28): I mean... wow! They are now 88-56 on the season and currently have won 19 games in a row, one short of the record. They are 13.5 games ahead of the Twins. Their Magic Number to win the division is down to six. It is very likely that they will clinch the division this sometime this weekend which will make these late-season games against the Twins pretty meaningless, but they are very likely to be very meaningful for the Twins. In this 19-game winning steak, they are 5-0 against Detroit, 3-0 against Baltimore, 4-0 against the White Sox, 3-0 against the Royals, 3-0 against the Yankees, and 1-0 against the Red Sox. Their last loss came to the Red Sox on August 23rd.

So there you have it, the schedule the rest of the way for the Twins. Here is a quick look at the current standings in the American League Wild Card:

Posted Image

Here are the upcoming schedules for the Twins Wild Card competition:

Los Angeles Angels (19 games)
3 vs Houston
3 vs Texas
3 vs Cleveland
3 @ Houston
4 @ Chicago White Sox
3 vs Seattle

Texas Rangers (19 games)
3 vs Seattle
3 @ Angels
3 @ Seattle
3 @ Oakland
3 vs Houston
4 vs Oakland

Kansas City Royals (19 games)
2 vs White Sox
4 @ Cleveland
3 @ Toronto
3 @ White Sox
1 @ NY Yankees
3 vs Detroit
3 vs Arizona

Seattle Mariners (18 games)
3 @ Texas
3 @ Houston
3 vs Texas
3 vs Cleveland
3 @ Oakland
3 @ Angels

Baltimore Orioles (18 games)
2 @ Toronto
4 @ NY Yankees
3 vs Boston
4 vs Tampa Bay
2 @ Pittsburgh
3 @ Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Rays (17 games)
2 vs NY Yankees
3 vs Boston
2 vs Cubs
4 @ Baltimore
3 @ NY Yankees
3 vs Baltimore


There you have it. It's going to be a fun, interesting final three weeks...

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#2 Blake

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:50 AM

"Interesting."

 

Yes, that's one way to put it. :)

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#3 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:14 AM

The way that the rotation is lined up right now it appears that Santana would likely be the starter in a Wild Card playoff game. 

Should it come to that...

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet just because it has a name or a photo you recognize.

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#4 Danchat

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:37 AM

Don't forget that Cleveland will likely still be competing with the Astros for the #1 seed, so they when they face us they'll still have their reasons to win. Unless they just win out the rest of the schedule... don't have to worry about Houston then.


#5 Brandon

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:58 AM

Kansaa city is the team with a schedule similar to ours. Everyone else has harder schedules.

#6 nater79a

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:14 AM

The Rangers scared me the most before I looked at these schedules. Now seeing that they play Oakland 7 more times, they REALLY scare me.


#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:22 AM

 

Don't forget that Cleveland will likely still be competing with the Astros for the #1 seed, so they when they face us they'll still have their reasons to win. Unless they just win out the rest of the schedule... don't have to worry about Houston then.

 

A very fair point. 

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#8 ThejacKmp

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:31 AM

 

The Rangers scared me the most before I looked at these schedules. Now seeing that they play Oakland 7 more times, they REALLY scare me.

Yeah but six vs. Seattle, 3 at home vs Houston (which will be pissed the Rangers wouldn't swap series) and 3 at the Angels.

 

We just need no one to go on a run. So many teams playing each other.

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#9 IndianaTwin

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:48 AM

 

New York Yankees (September 18-20): The Twins will travel to the Bronx to take on the team they are chasing for the top wild card position. They are currently four games behind the Yankees for that spot, but that could be different in a week. This is a good Yankees team, but it isn't your older brother's Yankees. Derek Jeter isn't going to walk through that door. Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams aren't going to walk through that door. And if they did... Well, they're still a very good team, obviously, illustrated by being 13 games over .500. They beat Tampa Bay last night. Before that they won two out of three games in September series against the Rangers, the Orioles and the Red Sox (technology and all).
 

 

I wish Posada and Williams WOULD walk through the door for them. The former is 46 and Bernie turns 49 tomorrow. I'd rather face either of those than Sanchez and Judge.

Edited by IndianaTwin, 12 September 2017 - 11:51 AM.

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#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:03 PM

Two of the Yankees are awesome players, I'm not sure I understand the point.

 

Gary Sanchez has 50 Hrs in his first 161 games......is somehow missing Posada an issue? Judge is top 10 in fWAR. Sanchez is 26th. Both are higher than any Twin. Actually, they have a third player with a higher fWAR than any Twin.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#11 spanman2

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:10 PM

Lets get to 85 wins secure the 2nd wild card go to NY and kick the bleep out of the Yankees!

I WAS TOLD I WOULD NEVER MAKE IT BECAUSE I AM TOO SHORT. WELL, I'M STILL TOO SHORT. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR HEIGHT IS. IT'S WHAT'S IN YOUR HEART.

KIRBY PUCKETT

#12 yarnivek1972

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:21 PM

 

Two of the Yankees are awesome players, I'm not sure I understand the point.

 

Gary Sanchez has 50 Hrs in his first 161 games......is somehow missing Posada an issue? Judge is top 10 in fWAR. Sanchez is 26th. Both are higher than any Twin. Actually, they have a third player with a higher fWAR than any Twin.

 

Check back for the answer to that question come playoff time.  Williams has 4 rings. Posada just missed the first one.


#13 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:46 PM

 

Check back for the answer to that question come playoff time.  Williams has 4 rings. Posada just missed the first one.

 

We are going to "punish" two "rookies" for not having WS rings yet? wow. Ok then.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#14 yarnivek1972

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:51 PM

We are going to "punish" two "rookies" for not having WS rings yet? wow. Ok then.


Who's punishing them? Simply pointing out that they are not postseason tested. At all. Whereas the two teams they likely would face beyond the Wild Card Game (Houston and/or Cleveland) do have some recent playoff experience.
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#15 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:19 PM

 

Who's punishing them? Simply pointing out that they are not postseason tested. At all. Whereas the two teams they likely would face beyond the Wild Card Game (Houston and/or Cleveland) do have some recent playoff experience.

 

I literally have no idea what the point is you are making here. But that's ok, I probably won't be back to this thread anyway.

 

btw, were the Cubs largely post season tested last year, or Cleveland?

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#16 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:35 PM

Is "post season tested" even a thing that matters? I don't know. I have a feeling it is one of those things that sounds logical so everyone just goes with it.

Do we have any evidence that teams with more playoff experience perform better, compared to their skill level, than teams without? If we do have statistical, not anecdotal, evidence of that, I'd love to read it.
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#17 jimmer

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:39 PM

We are getting a wild card.

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#18 drjim

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 05:03 PM

I literally have no idea what the point is you are making here. But that's ok, I probably won't be back to this thread anyway.

btw, were the Cubs largely post season tested last year, or Cleveland?


Cubs significantly more than Cleveland. But I generally agree postseason experience isn't that significant.
Papers...business papers.

#19 yarnivek1972

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:09 PM

One thing that could give players with postseason experience an edge is the longer road. It's mid September. This is only the second season Sanchez or Judge have even played this deep into September. Now, they may have 30-50 games left. Nearly all of which are crucial. It's a physical and mental drain that one needs to prepare for.
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#20 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:19 PM

One thing that could give players with postseason experience an edge is the longer road. It's mid September. This is only the second season Sanchez or Judge have even played this deep into September. Now, they may have 30-50 games left. Nearly all of which are crucial. It's a physical and mental drain that one needs to prepare for.


Another thing that seems logical, but do we have any imperical evidence?
Are there any studies showing that players are worse if they play more games?



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