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  • A Closer Look at the Minnesota Twins' 2020 Schedule


    Matthew Taylor

    Alas, baseball is here. Finally, we can talk about real rosters, real games, and real schedules. In the midst of all of the announcements regarding the upcoming 60-game season, we have learned how the MLB schedule will look and who the Twins will be facing in 2020.

    Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    While we still don’t know the exact dates of the games or the order in which the series will be played, Jayson Stark of The Athletic provided fans with the nuts and bolts of what the baseball schedule will look like in 2020. Here’s how the schedule will break down:

    • All teams will play 10 games against each of their divisional foes, making up 40 of the 60 total games.
    • The remaining 20 games will be played against the corresponding interleague division. In the case of the American League Central, this will mean playing 20 games versus the National League Central.
    • Six of the interleague divisional games will be played against a team’s closest natural “rival”. In the case of the Minnesota Twins, this will be the Milwaukee Brewers.
    • The remaining 14 interleague divisional games will be split between the four remaining teams in series of three or four games.

    The way that the schedules shook out for the 2020 season is about the best scenario that the Minnesota Twins could have asked for. The American League Central was the worst division in baseball in terms of winning percentage in 2019. While the White Sox should be improved with the offseason additions they made, the Cleveland Indians have potential to go the other way as they parted with their ace pitcher, Corey Kluber and have been rumblings of them potentially looking to deal Francisco Lindor. Additionally, the American League Central is home to two of the worst teams in baseball in the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals.

     

    https://twitter.com/MatthewTaylorMN/status/1275786989841809413?s=20

     

    All in all the Minnesota Twins were 50-26 against the American League Central in 2019. Being able to play 60% of their games against a division that they had so much success against last season spell success for the Twins heading into the 60-game super-season.

     

    Another advantage that the Minnesota Twins have with the way the 2020 schedule shook out is that they avoid playing the American League East and American League West altogether. It’s no secret that the Twins have struggled against the New York Yankees, but additionally the Twins avoid having to face the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, and Tampa Bay Rays. All four of those teams are arguably better than the second best team in the American League Central.

     

    Switching to their interleague divisional foes, the Minnesota Twins once again came up fortunate by getting to face the National League Central, the weakest division in the National League in 2019 according to 2019 winning percentage. While the Cincinnati Reds made some strong offseason additions, the Pirates figure to be one of the worst teams in baseball, and none of the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers were projected to have more than 87 wins according to PECOTA’s March projections. Further, by facing the National League Central the Twins avoid having to face the juggernauts in the National League of the Braves, Mets, Nationals and Dodgers.

     

    In addition to avoiding the best teams in baseball on the American League and National League sides, the Twins will also avoid having to face the best pitchers in baseball. With the way the schedule shook out, the Minnesota Twins will not have to face any of the top-seven pitchers in the MLB according to fWAR, evading the likes of Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton in the American League, and Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg in the National League.

     

    While all of this sounds great in theory for the Minnesota Twins’ outlook in 2020, an easier schedule doesn’t promise a divisional title. The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox will have the same schedule as the Minnesota Twins, and the amount of parity that will exist in a 60-game season has been well documented. The games still need to be played, and the Twins still need to perform, but with the schedule they’ve been given, they’re starting off on the right foot.

     

    How do you feel about the way the 2020 schedule shook out for the Minnesota Twins? Who do you think will be their toughest opponent? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!

     

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    I'm glad we have veteran guys with postseason experience and a history of doing well in the postseason. (Donaldson, Cruz, Clippard, Romo)  This season will feel like a September game where the standings are tight, the whole 60 games. I like the Twins chances on paper, how can you not?

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    I am not a fan of the 6 games against natural rival.  With only 60 games those 3 game difference can be huge.  Brew crew I think will be weaker this year than years past but they always have played us tough.  Tigers playing Pirates, I assume is the extra games even thought Cleveland is close to Pittsburgh, but the natural inter state rival against reds makes sense.  I assume they are not doing direct flight for "rival"  That matchup is a who cares, both will not be good this year most likely.  The chicago matchup could play big, and the Ohio matchup.  Both Cubs and Reds are decent.  Cards will be licking their chops to roll over the Royals.  If I was an NL central fan other than Cards I would be very upset with the extra three games they will get.

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    This is not as exciting for viewing as the Twins now miss my favorite NL West. I was really looking forward to seeing the Dodgers at Target Field this season. Obviously, the new schedule is better for the Twins odds of being successful and making the playoffs.

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    Let's crank it up boys and get ready to roll. Nelly, Josh, Mitch, Max, Eddie, Jorge and Miggy gotta launch the bombas while Luis is stingin' the ball and Buck is flyin' round the bases (and hopefully not into any walls). Stay safe--health is going to be doubly  important in this short season.

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    I am not a fan of the 6 games against natural rival.  With only 60 games those 3 game difference can be huge.  Brew crew I think will be weaker this year than years past but they always have played us tough.  Tigers playing Pirates, I assume is the extra games even thought Cleveland is close to Pittsburgh, but the natural inter state rival against reds makes sense.  I assume they are not doing direct flight for "rival"  That matchup is a who cares, both will not be good this year most likely.  The chicago matchup could play big, and the Ohio matchup.  Both Cubs and Reds are decent.  Cards will be licking their chops to roll over the Royals.  If I was an NL central fan other than Cards I would be very upset with the extra three games they will get.

    I agree. In a season this short, they should have made the schedule uniform and played 4 games against each team, 2 home, 2 road. I'm guessing they wanted to cut the travel down.

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    It will all depend on staying away from any major losing streaks and staying healthy. I think KC will be tougher than people think as will the White Sox. We are lucky to be playing the NL Central as far as overall record but staying away from top pitchers will make it tough come playoff time. I think we can go as good as 41-19 but will probably be closer to 37-23.

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    Should still come down to the Twins and Indians. I firmly believe the Twins are the deeper and better team.

     

    Not being a downer or a pessimist here, just asking, but does not playing against some of the better teams in the East or West hurt the Twins come playoff time?

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    Should still come down to the Twins and Indians. I firmly believe the Twins are the deeper and better team.

    Not being a downer or a pessimist here, just asking, but does not playing against some of the better teams in the East or West hurt the Twins come playoff time?

     

    Are you suggesting it’s helped them in the past? :)

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    I don't know...

     

    All the competition has the same advantages, except they also gotta face the Twins. And i don't wanna be so huberistic as to call that an advantage just yet...

     

    It means the play offs will mostly be strangers who haven't played each other at all over the season. Well, except for perhaps the World Series.

     

    I hope our scouting department comes on strong for the post season!

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