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6 Reasons to Feel Hopeful about the Minnesota Twins in 2021


The 2021 Minnesota Twins have quickly dug themselves into an unexpected 8-15 hole. While there are plenty of reasons to feel down about this team, there are plenty of reasons to feel hopeful.1. The Minnesota Twins have the unluckiest record in baseball

 

While the Minnesota Twins have gotten off to a miserable 8-15 start, they have also been extremely unlucky. The unluckiest team in baseball, in fact. According to pythagorean win/loss which is the expected record for a baseball team based on their run differential, the Minnesota Twins should be an 11-12 team and just 2.5 GB of the division lead. The 3 game difference between the Twins’ actual win/loss and their expected win/loss is the largest in baseball. The luckiest team in baseball thus far? The AL Central leading Kansas City Royals.

 

The biggest reason for this discrepancy between expected and actual win/loss for the Minnesota Twins has been their miserable performance in one-run games. Typically one-run games are coin flips in baseball, but thus far the Twins have been 2-6 in one run games and an unfathomable 0-5 in extra inning games. While much of that poor performance can be equated to what has been a poor bullpen, a lot of it can also be equated to bad luck, and bad luck that you would expect to regress back to the mean over the course of a 162-game season.

 

2. The Minnesota Twins are hitting the ball extremely hard

 

Only the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays have a higher average exit velocity than the Minnesota Twins who on average are hitting the ball at 90 MPH. What has hurt the Twins up to this point has been the lack of launch angle that they are putting on the baseball. While each of the past four seasons, the Twins have finished in the top three in all of baseball in average launch angle, to this point in the season the Twins are 20th in Major League Baseball in average launch angle. With the bat speed already there, as soon as the Twins start hitting the ball up a bit more, the extra base hits and bombas should follow.

 

3. The Minnesota Twins’ batted balls are not finding holes

 

If it seems like many hard hit balls are not finding holes for the Minnesota Twins up to this point in the season it’s because they aren’t. In fact, the Minnesota Twins have the third largest differential in the American League between expected slugging percentage (.488) and actual slugging percentage (.409). This is another statistic that one can assume will even out over the course of a 162-game season and all of those holes that the Twins have failed to find to this point will soon turn into seeing-eye singles and doubles down the line.

 

4. The Minnesota Twins are finally past their COVID-19 Issues

 

With the report that Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick have cleared COVID-19 protocols, the Minnesota Twins appear to finally be out of the woods with the COVID-19 virus that has spread through their locker room over the past two weeks *knock on wood*. Because of their mini outbreak the Minnesota Twins were without Kepler, Garlick and Simmons for a prolonged period of time and have been forced to rely heavily upon guys like JT Riddle and Willians Astudillo. The virus issues have eaten into the Twins depth a ton and has crippled them greatly over the course of their losing skid. With Kepler and Garlick re-joining the team this weekend, the Twins should hopefully be back at full strength for the first time this season.

 

5. The Minnesota Twins have yet to play the top two teams in their division

 

In any given season, what typically decides the division winner is the team that performs the best against their top competition in the division. In the case of the Minnesota Twins, they still have yet to play the Chicago White Sox and just this weekend are starting competition against the Kansas City Royals. The Twins find themselves in a deficit in the American League Central, but there is no quicker way for them to make up ground than to perform well against the best.

 

6. The Season is only 14% over

 

While many of our brains are still used to the 60-game sprint of 2020, we are back into the marathon that is a 162-game season, and the Minnesota Twins have only played 21 of those 162 games, or 14%. The start of the year has not gone the way that anyone has wanted, but there is ample time for them to make up ground. The season is extremely young, and time is on the side of the two-time reigning American League Central champions.

 

What other reasons can you think of for reasons to have hope in the Minnesota Twins? Leave a comment below and start the conversation?

 

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4. The Minnesota Twins are finally past their COVID-19 Issues

With the report that Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick have cleared COVID-19 protocols, the Minnesota Twins appear to finally be out of the woods with the COVID-19 virus that has spread through their locker room over the past two weeks *knock on wood*. Because of their mini outbreak the Minnesota Twins were without Kepler, Garlick and Simmons for a prolonged period of time and have been forced to rely heavily upon guys like JT Riddle and Willians Astudillo. The virus issues have eaten into the Twins depth a ton and has crippled them greatly over the course of their losing skid. With Kepler and Garlick re-joining the team this weekend, the Twins should hopefully be back at full strength for the first time this season.
 

Positive test results have caused chaos in roster management and in scheduling and I think this issue is one of the biggest factors in the team's poor performance throughout much of April.

 

I think this would have been avoided had there not been employees who failed to get vaccinated. Not being an expert in employment law I don't know if the Twins organization has the legal right to mandate vaccination for its employees (as is the case at my place of employment), but if that right exists and it was not implemented then whoever is (are) the team's health and safety officer(s) failed in their role.

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