Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • Series Preview: Dining in the Doldrums

    Ted Schwerzler

    This stretch of games was a big reason that the Minnesota Twins were the favorite to win the division despite a tough road in July and August. Thirteen games against the bottom of the AL Central was going to allow them to get fat, and that has played out as expected. With one final series in Detroit against the Tigers, maybe Minnesota can exact some revenge on Ron Gardenhire’s squad for their ineptitude against the competition presented by the Cleveland Indians.

    Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Brief Overview:

    The Tigers have managed to win just 46 games despite playing 155 thus far. A winning percentage below 30% in baseball is laughable at best, and this team is worse than both assumed bottom-feeders in Baltimore and Miami. Ron Gardenhire has had little to work with, and has gotten less from them. He’ll be back in 2020, along with Miguel Cabrera’s anchor of a contract, but this team is hapless in their current construction.

    What They Do Well:

    It’s not a surprise that a team this bad would have little going for it. We’ve harped on their deficiencies in this space all season long so continuing to beat that dead horse does little for me. They are in the bottom third across all facets of the game, and while the farm system has some big names, no significant contributors (sorry Jake Rogers) are currently up with the big club.

    To really fish for something they’ve done well in 2019, there’s probably no better place to look than their record against the Cleveland Indians. Detroit managed to go 1-18 with a -78 run differential against Terry Francona’s club. Obviously that’s not good at all, but you almost have to be trying to stink up the place that badly against a common opponent. With little place else to turn, the Tigers were great at losing to the Indians this year.

    What They Do Not Do Well:

    As the flip side of the section above this is also a bloodbath for the home club. In fielding they are 26th and dead last in batting, I suppose they can be proud of their 20th ranking in terms of pitching. Minnesota needs a few homers to catch the Yankees for the MLB single season record, and Detroit should provide them in spades. During a three-game series earlier this month the Tigers coughed up 10 longballs to the Bombers.

    Spencer Turnbull has been an arm of intrigue in 2019 for Detroit, but he’s 3-15 with a 4.66 ERA. Wednesday’s starter Daniel Norris was a once-heralded arm but has taken his lumps as well, going 3-13 with a 4.58 ERA. Sweeps are never an easy ask, regardless of the competition, but Detroit will do its best to provide the Twins ample opportunity.

    Individuals of Note:

    Former Twins farmhand Niko Goodrum has actually provided the greatest fWAR for Detroit this season, but his year is over due to a groin strain. Victor Reyes is one of the lone productive bats in the lineup at this point. He’s been worth 1.6 fWAR in just over 60 games this season. Although he is batting .304 on the year, his .772 OPS leaves a bit to be desired.

    The staff ace Matthew Boyd won’t be seen having just taken a turn, but the aforementioned Turnbull will throw. He’s responsible for the second highest fWAR on the pitching staff and has a FIP that suggests a bit better numbers than what he’s accounted for. Of the trio that Minnesota will square off against it’s Turnbull who keeps the ball in the park the best.

    Recent History:

    These two clubs have not seen each other since the end of August. A four-game series in Detroit was won by the Twins dropping only game two. On the year Minnesota is 11-5 against Detroit.

    Recent Trajectories:

    The Twins are 7-3 over their last 10 games while the Tigers are an opposite 3-7. Minnesota hasn’t lost a series to a sub-.500 team since dropping two of three to the White Sox on August 21st. Detroit last won a series on July 31st taking two of three against the Angels.

    Pitching Matchups:

    Tuesday: Odorizzi vs Turnbull

    Wednesday: TBD vs Norris

    Thursday: TBD vs Zimmermann

    Ending Thoughts:

    Detroit is terrible and the Twins have an eye on the postseason. I’d like to see Mitch Garver be available this week even though he didn’t initially make the trip to the Motor City. Max Kepler playing in a regular capacity would be good for his playoff outlook as well. Minnesota is three positive outcomes from an AL Central division title, and 100 wins is in reach as well. A sweep here would go a long way to positioning them well for both opportunities.

    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    — Become a Twins Daily Caretaker


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    These next two series are really   important series. Injuries need to heal, some   formerly injured players need to get some   at bats against some live   AAA pitching (sorry Detroit and KC, I couldn't resist),  Bombas need to be hit (I really want   the Twins to take that all-time MLB HR record from the Bronx Bombers...oh the irony), rotation decisions need to be made and set, and at least 4 of 6 games need to be won for a 100 victory season. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Detroit beat Twins 2-out-of-3 in Minneapolis a couple weeks ago. Was pretty brutal. Time for some payback! Hope Rocco puts in the "A" team here, I think everyone wants to see the Twins go for the clinch as soon as possible.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Tigers pitcher is 3-15. Think maybe we should be able to win this game? Once a team reaches 110 losses (Kitties are 1 away) they enter the abysmal pit of baseballs historically worst teams ever.. The O's will get there again this year after 115 losses last year. while it may be easy to take these 3 games lightly, there is absolutely no reason for the Twins to do so. They want to clinch the division...they want to make sure their key players are healthy..they want to get their pitching set up. No dogging it for the next 3 games.


    As bad as Detroit is, it is vital that the pitchers come to play. We saw how frustrating the KC series was, pitching-wise. We cringed as the 9th inning unfolded Sunday. I'd like to see the front runners (the 12 that will compose the post season roster) all step up and bring their 'A' game. there really is no reason to toss the others into the mix, unless games are way out of control....either way. IMO

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hope we get Max back,  watching  philly and washington , Blake Parker just pitched to Brian Dozier, now Matt Morin is in,,  Luck or not Gotta hand it to front office with the way the bullpen has developed, And how important they will be now with 2 Starters,  Ya lets get this done Quick ,   1ST TIME IN 9 YEARS, Loving it,

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Create New...