Minnesota Twins series preview: Tampa Bay Rays

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 10: Austin Meadows #17 of the Tampa Bay Rays runs after hitting a single in the 1st inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 10: Austin Meadows #17 of the Tampa Bay Rays runs after hitting a single in the 1st inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MARCH 28: Manager Rocco Baldelli #5 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during the eighth inning of the Opening Day game against the Cleveland Indians on March 28, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Indians 2-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MARCH 28: Manager Rocco Baldelli #5 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during the eighth inning of the Opening Day game against the Cleveland Indians on March 28, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Indians 2-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Outlook

If you’re into the revenge game narrative, this series will feature plenty of former Rays making a homecoming. While manager Rocco Baldelli won’t be looking for revenge, he did spend a majority of his major league career in Tampa Bay that was cut short due to a muscular disorder. In addition, Baldelli also served as the Rays major league field coordinator under Kevin Cash in 2018.

Outside of that, Odorizzi and first baseman C.J. Cron also spent time with the Rays and while it probably doesn’t mean much, it will be interesting to see how they do in their old stomping grounds.

For this weekend, the Twins likely see success if their rested pitching staff doesn’t have rust from a couple days off. The lineup should also be ready to go even if the Rays play mind games with their opener strategy.

Next. The Twins are not a fluke. dark

Keeping the Rays big guns in check (including Meadows) will be key and if the Twins can keep doing what they’re doing, they should be able to at least earn a series split and possibly pick up the win in St. Petersburg.

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