Minnesota Twins series preview: Twins host two-game series with reeling Mets

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 29: Michael Pineda #35 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 29: Michael Pineda #35 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins will look to continue the momentum of the weekend series with the Cleveland Indians by taking care of the reeling New York Mets.

The Minnesota Twins and New York Mets have been a mirror image of each other so far in 2019. While the Twins had low expectations this season and didn’t add anybody with much name value, they’ve had a quick rise to the top of the American League and are poised for an October playoff push.

For the Mets, their offseason was filled with big splashes as they acquired names such as Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and Todd Frazier in hopes of catching up with the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. Instead, the Mets have put an even bigger gap as most of their acquisitions haven’t panned out and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s first offseason has everyone in the organization begging for a mulligan.

With both teams heading in opposite directions, they’ll meet for the second time this season for a two-game series at Target Field beginning on Tuesday night.

The first meeting between the two clubs took place in April with the Twins splitting a two-game series at Citi Field. In that series, the Twins were able to tag Jacob deGrom with a 14-run explosion in a April 9 victory that would become the norm for Minnesota throughout the early months of the season. The second game, however, would belong to the Mets as Noah Syndergaard outdueled Jake Odorizzi and the Twins bullpen fell apart in a 9-6 loss on April 10.

The good news for the Twins in this series is that they’ll be able to miss the Mets’ pair of aces as they’ll face two members on the lower half of the New York rotation. The Mets were originally slated to throw Zack Wheeler out against the Twins, but have placed the potential trade target who is ranked 10b on Puckett’s Pond trade deadline rankings, on the injured list with shoulder fatigue.

Instead, the Mets will throw out Steven Matz (5-6, 4.89 ERA) and Jason Vargas (8-3, 4.26 ERA) in the Wednesday afternoon finale.

The Twins will counter with Michael Pineda (6-4, 4.56 ERA) on Tuesday night, who has allowed just one run in four of his final five starts before the All-Star break. They’ll follow that up with left-hander Martin Perez (8-3, 4.26 ERA) who had a strong start before faltering late in his final start of the first half against the Texas Rangers.

Minnesota will also hope for more good luck on the injury front as they hope to get the services of Eddie Rosario and/or C.J. Cron back at some point during the series. With the Twins facing a reeling opponent, it’s possible that they could hold off on one or both returns until the weekend when the Oakland Athletics come to Minnesota.

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Either way, this should be a series the Twins can manage. If they can pick up a sweep against the Mets, it will go a long way to keep rolling as Minnesota hosts Oakland and the New York Yankees over the next week.

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