The Cleveland Indians are hosting the Minnesota Twins this May weekend, so let’s talk playoffs.
It is never too early for that.
We bring up October baseball now because the Twins entered the season as favorites to win the American League Central division.
Yet so far the team has been a total disaster and shows up to town with a 15-28 record.
That puts them in last place, two games behind the rebuilding Detroit Tigers.
Major turnarounds have happened in MLB before and the Twins have the talent, on paper, to get back to and above .500.
But falling to 15-31 or even 16-30 this weekend would be a tough hole to climb out of as June nears.
Main Problem in Minnesota
The Twins are scoring runs just fine.
The problem is the fact the team is sporting a minus-35 run-differential because of the pitching staff.
Minnesota pitchers have allowed 227 runs already this year.
Cleveland is only at 157 and the first-place Chicago White Sox have only allowed 149.
Jose Berrios is the ace of the staff and he still sits with a 3.91 ERA.
The bullpen is not better and it is hard to find one pitcher on this team actually having a great season.
That explains the awful record.
The crazy thing is that the Twins got off to a 5-2 start to the season, just as expected.
But losing streaks have been the norm since then and now the Twins are in Cleveland after playing a doubleheader in Anaheim on Thursday.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) May 21, 2021
That is a rough travel day for anyone, let alone athletes expected to compete at a high level.
Series so Far
The Indians hold a 2-1 edge over the Twins so far in 2021.
The lone loss came during an afternoon start that was so bad for Logan Allen he was opted to the minors immediately following the game.
The Indians are optioning Logan Allen to Columbus.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) April 28, 2021
That series came back at a time when the Indians were still trying to get above .500 and stay there.
It appears they have only gotten better since then and that is bad news for a desperate Twins club.
We looked at Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections before the season began.
The Twins were looked at to be favorites in the division, with the Indians in second.
Now the projections have shifted with the Indians winning the division, the White Sox finishing second, and the Twins in third.
However, the Twins are still projected to finish above .500.
So the faith remains from the computers.
These projections change daily, so a sweep this weekend could drastically change the outlook as it would show the Twins just don’t have it in 2021.