Minnesota Twins: Is it make or break time for this team?

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14: Minnesota Twins fans sit through a rain delay before the start of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 14, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14: Minnesota Twins fans sit through a rain delay before the start of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 14, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy King/Getty Images) /
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This is a critical point in the season for the Minnesota Twins. Is this team still capable of making a playoff run or should they start trading assets?

The Minnesota Twins open up a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians tonight. Although there are a lot of games left to play, this series should help provide some clarity moving forward.

Minnesota is still very much alive in the AL Central trailing the Indians by only five and a half games. However, they’re currently 22-27 with a minus-21 run differential. As we close out the month of May, the Twins need to show signs of a turnaround during this upcoming series.

However, the future is still bright even if the Twins continue to flounder. The front office was smart during this past offseason. Instead of doling out large multi-year contracts, they opted instead for short-term deals, leaving them financially flexible past this season.

With 113 games still remaining during this season and trailing in the division by only five games, there’s definitely hope for this season. However, the Minnesota Twins will have to go 68-45 over the next four months in order to reach 90 wins. Typically 90 wins will put you in position for the playoffs, but maintaining a .662 winning percentage will be tough to accomplish.

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Can Minnesota turn things around?

The Twins have been beset by injuries all season long. The presumptive ace of the pitching staff, Ervin Santana, has yet to even toe the rubber and recent reports indicate it may still be a while before he does. José Berríos has emerged and Fernando Romero has shown flashes of being special in his absence. Outside of Lance Lynn, who has been better in recent starts, the starting pitching has been relatively consistent.

Miguel Sano recently returned from the disabled list and will help this offense find it’s groove. However, the Minnesota Twins need Joe Mauer healthy and in this lineup, if they’re going to do anything this season. Mauer is a steadying presence at the top of the batting order and this team is simply better when he’s playing.

As important as Mauer is to this lineup, Byron Buxton is even more important to the Twins defense. Buxton recently landed on the disabled list for the second time already this season. Although he has provided almost nothing at the plate, hitting .156 with only four extra-base hits in 28 games, he brings premium defensive in center field.

The talent is there for this team to make some noise during the next four months. However, the odds are stacked against them making the playoffs .

Next: Taking a look at the complicated pitching situation

That being said, if the Twins manage to win three or four games against the Indians this weekend, the narrative will be completely different. Hope is not lost for the 2018 season. However, it is dwindling quickly and Minnesota will need to turn it around soon.

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