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  • Predicting Minnesota's Early Season Schedule


    Cody Christie

    Minnesota finished up their series with Baltimore on Sunday and the club is off to a strong start. After faltering on Opening Day with Dylan Bundy pitching, the Twins came back and took two of three to win the series. Now the team’s focus turns to Pittsburgh before the Home Opener on Thursday against Seattle.

    So how does Minnesota’s early season schedule stack up? Can the Twins get off to a hot start?

    Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Pirates (4/2 & 4/4)

    2018 Projected Record: 77-85

    In a quick two game series, the Twins will face Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova. Taillon will be making his season debut after returning to the mound last season following a battle with testicular cancer. Nova held the Tigers to two runs on Opening Day, as he fought through six hits and three walks. Lance Lynn is scheduled to make his Twins debut on Monday and Jake Odorizzi will look to build off his six scoreless innings from Opening Day. Prediction: Twins Split Series 1-1

    Seattle (4/5, 4/7-8)

    2018 Projected Record: 80-82

    Kyle Gibson should get quite the rousing ovation when he takes the mound on Thursday. Gibson threw six hitless innings to earn the team’s first victory of the season. He’s looking to build off of his strong second half. Minnesota might miss out on Felix Hernandez so this could leave them facing James Paxton, Marco Gonzales, and Mike Leake. It’s also important to remember Minnesota was only one game over .500 at home last season while being seven games over .500 on the road. Prediction: Twins Win Series 2-1

    Houston (4/9-4/11)

    2018 Projected Record: 99-63

    Houston, the defending World Series champions, look like a team destined for greatness again. Having Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole for an entire season is only going to strengthen a rotation which already includes Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. There also isn’t much of a weakness at any point in their line-up. If things break like they should, this might be Minnesota’s first series loss of the year. Prediction: Twins Lose Series 1-2

    Chicago (4/12-4/15)

    2018 Projected Record: 68-94

    In the midst of a rebuild, the White Sox shouldn’t be taken for granted if the Twins want to be in playoff contention. Young pitchers like Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer are looking to make their mark at the big league level. Chicago’s bullpen has a lot of unknowns so the Twins could do some damage in the later innings. Yoan Moncada is only 22 years old and he’s looking to prove he is one of the best young players in the game. Prediction: Twins Win Series 3-1

    Cleveland (4/17-18)

    2018 Projected Record: 93-69

    The Indians are the kings of the AL Central but this two game series in Puerto Rico will come with a lot of emotions for both teams. Minnesota has Jose Berrios line-up to pitch Game 1 so he will have to keep his emotions in check. Minnesota’s Eddie Rosario and Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor will also want to put on a showcase in their home country. For Minnesota to stay in the AL Central race, they are going to need to take games away from Cleveland. Prediction: Twins Split Series 1-1

    Tampa Bay (4/20-22)

    2018 Projected Record: 78-84

    Tampa Bay traded away multiple starting pieces this off-season including dealing Odorizzi to the Twins. Chris Archer and Blake Snell are still a solid one-two punch at the top of their rotation but beyond that there are some question marks. Three former Twins (Denard Span, Carlos Gomez, and Wilson Ramos) will face their old squad. Logan Morrison will also get his first shot back in Tampa Bay. However, 27 of his 38 home runs in 2017 came away from Tropicana Field. Prediction: Twins Win Series 2-1

    New York (4/23-26)

    2018 Projected Record: 95-67

    Minnesota will be looking to get a little revenge after falling to New York in last year’s AL Wild Card Game. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez make-up a formidable middle of the line-up that can hit the ball out of the park at any point in the game. New York’s bullpen continues to be a strength so the Twins are going to need to get out to early leads because mounting a comeback would be tough. Prediction: Twins Split Series 2-2

    Cincinnati (4/27-29)

    2018 Projected Record: 71-91

    In a battle of two of the fastest players in baseball, Byron Buxton and Billy Hamilton could make this an exciting series to watch. Last season, MLB’s Statcast ranked Buxton and Hamilton as the two fastest players in relation to sprint speed. The Reds are going to struggle to keep pace with the Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers at the top of the NL Central. Joey Votto is still a force in the middle of the line-up but there isn’t much help around him. Prediction: Twins Sweep Series 3-0

    If all of my predictions come true, the Twins would have a 17-10 record entering their first series of May with Toronto. Is this a realistic expectation? Is the early season schedule in favor of the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    Nice write up Cody.   Seems pretty spot on and realistic to how the first part pans out.   With a few lucky bounces as well, the Twins could be looking at 20 wins to start.

     

    Man, seems really nice to be able to say that without have to stifle a snicker or snort. :)

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        This being baseball I am guessing that we will get swept by someone we should beat at some point this month.   17-10 is not sustainable but realistic in the sense that it is reasonably possible but 17-10 is on a pace to win 102 games.   Realistic while still being more probably is 14-13 which projects out to 84 wins.   Since we are already 2-1 maybe 15-12 which projects out to 90 wins.   Given Santana is out I think I would bank that 15 wins if offered in place of what we actually do.

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    i think that is within reach.  The only two red flags i see are Houston a team which is absolutely loaded and the Yankees a foe that the Twins have absolutely struggled with most of the 2000's.

    The Twins splitting in New York is the prediction I found most unlikely. Given our history of futility there, I think we'd be lucky to leave Yankee Stadium with one win.

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