Can the Minnesota Twins keep things rolling against the Angels?

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 04: Manager Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins watches from the dugout as his team takes on the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 4, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 04: Manager Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins watches from the dugout as his team takes on the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 4, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Hopefully, the day off on Wednesday doesn’t cool off the red-hot Minnesota Twins. They look to keep things rolling against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during a tough four-game set over the weekend.

The Minnesota Twins head to the West coast after two consecutive series sweeps. They took care of business in all three games against the White Sox, then they rolled through St. Louis in a two-game set. The Twins will look to build on the current five-game winning streak against the Angels.

Probable Starters:

José Berríos (3-3, 3.98 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (4-1, 3.93 ERA)

Lance Lynn (1-3, 7.28 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (3-2, 3.08 ERA)

Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.49 ERA) vs. TBD

Fernando Romero (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Shohei Ohtani (3-1, 4.10 ERA)

The day that Ohtani will start is still up for debate, however, recent reports have him pitching on Sunday. If that is the case, this is a dream scenario for Major League Baseball. Fernando Romero has started his MLB career with 11 2/3 shutout innings and 14 strikeouts during his first two starts. His arrival has been a tremendous boost for the Minnesota Twins and this will be a big-time matchup of two top rookie pitchers on Sunday.

The other half of that pitching duo is the dual-threat Ohtani. He has done more damage with the bat this season than on the mound, and Minnesota will have to deal with that over the first three games of this series. Ohtani is hitting .333 with four home runs and 14 runs batted in during 65 plate appearances. His bat is legit, and he has helped the Angels win some games along the way.

Although he’s already coughed up four home runs during his first five starts, Ohtani is the real deal when he toes the rubber as well. He has 32 strikeouts and 11 walks in 26 1/3 innings pitched with a solid 1.177 WHIP. The Japanese phenom also has a 10.9 K/9 to go along with a respectable 3.8 BB/9, so Minnesota will have their hands full.

Reasons to remain positive…

Eddie Rosario has started May out with a bang and has been a catalyst during the Minnesota Twins current five-game winning streak. He has 16 hits in 36 at-bats during May and has already hit four home runs.

Although he has already committed four errors in left field, Rosario is still capable of making a big-time play defensively. He has done well in helping to cover for the loss of Byron Buxton over the last few weeks. However, Buxton is working his way back, and could even be active for tonight, so that will lessen the load for Rosario defensively.

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Not everybody can start as well as Rosario has during the first week of May. However, Eduardo Escobar has been only just barely slightly less hot than Rosario. Escobar has 11 hits in 32 at-bats to start the month, giving him a .341 batting average. He has also slugged three home runs and driven in six runs to help the Twins get on the winning track.

Escobar has been tremendous filling in at short after Jorge Polanco‘s suspension, also at third base while Miguel Sano has been injured. For the season, he is hitting .313 with seven home runs and 20 runs batted in with a .367 on-base percentage. Without question, he has played himself into an everyday role for the Twins.

One more thing to keep an eye on

This will be a big start for Berríos when he takes the mound Friday night. After allowing only five earned runs over his first four starts, Berríos has allowed a whopping 13 earned runs, in 13 innings pitched, during his previous three starts. As alarming as that seems, it is too soon to panic about what might be going on with Berríos.

However, 13 runs over a three-game stretch is rough for any pitcher. He has allowed four home runs with seven walks and only nine strikeouts during this stretch. Berríos has done a complete 180° from his start to the 2018 season and the Twins are searching for answers.

For Minnesota to turn things around and contend for the AL Central crown, they will need Berríos to put things back together. He has shown flashes of being a special pitcher in this league and that’s what Minnesota needs right now. Although he will have to navigate a potent lineup headlined by The Immortal Mike Trout, this is a start that Berríos will need to have success.

Next: Is this what Twins fans should expect from Kyle Gibson?

The Minnesota Twins match up well against the Angels this weekend. Although I’m not saying they’ll earn a sweep, they definitely should at least split the four game set. This series will reveal a lot about the Twins moving forward. Beating a good team like the Angles will go a long way in boosting this team’s confidence.