Who is the real AL contender?
As mentioned in the first slide, this series has a surreal feel to it. While the Twins would definitely like to make a statement by taking at least two-of-three from the Red Sox, it’s Boston who feels like they have a chance to make a statement of their own by knocking off the Twins.
Coming into this series, the Red Sox have struggled against teams over .500 posting a 12-20 record against such opponents. Among those games, they have registered a -28 run differential against current playoff teams New York, Tampa Bay and Houston and will be looking to show that their current five-game winning streak (which has included a three-game sweep of the 21-50 Baltimore Orioles) is a sign of things to come.
"“I think a lot of people see that as important, playing against those guys,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told MassLive and other reporters on Sunday. “I feel like we played well (vs. the top teams). We just didn’t get the clutch hit. It’s a hit there, a hit there, a pitch here. So we’re not caught up on that. We’ve just got to go there and play well.”"
The Twins will undoubtedly be thinking the same thing as they’ll look to squash any momentum that Boston has coming into this series. To do that, they’ll have to play some better baseball than they did this past weekend where they took two-of-three games from the Kansas City Royals, but showed cracks in their bullpen and defense.
With the Twins entering Monday at 13-12 against teams above .500, this is a chance to show they’re a true team to fear in the summer months and possibly that the Red Sox are not the same team they were a year ago.