The Minnesota Twins were projected by many to be among the worst teams in baseball this year. While talent-wise they surely belong near the bottom, their record thus far has been oddly respectable. In a competitive AL Central, with all four other teams believing that they’re playoff contenders, the Twins have looked like an easy victory–ready to lay down and accept defeat many times this season. However, the Twins already have stolen games and series away from contenders.
The Twins got a strong performance from SP Mike Pelfrey, en route to a 4-2 win over division foe Cleveland Indians. The Indians, however, did their job taking two out of three in this weekend series with the Twins. The same cannot be said for supposed division front-runner Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are 3-3, through six of their 19 regular season meetings with the Twins. Though it is a small sample, the Tigers will need every win they can get, as they fight for homefield advantage in the American League.
The team that may value their games with the Twins more than any other is the Kansas City Royals. With myriad of new starting pitchers–including new ace James Shields and the resurrected Jeremy Guthrie–the Royals are much improved, but will likely need some luck or breaks to win the AL Central or more likely, an AL wild card. The Royals are 3-0 against the Twins thus far, with 16 games left. If the Royals could win 12 of those 16, hypothetically their 15-4 record against the Twins would be a monstrous edge against other American League teams. As the AL West and East are so competitive, the Royals will need to take advantage of the Twins and hope performances like today’s are an aberration.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.