The Minnesota Twins will head to Miami for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday and both teams could much different by the time they leave town.
With just under two days left until the MLB trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins have a lot on their plate. As the Cleveland Indians continue to nip on their heels in the American League Central, the Twins are also waiting in anticipation to see if they’ll have any new teammates in the coming days.
While such a situation can be a distraction, it’s a lot better than the situation their opponents, the Miami Marlins, find themselves in. The two teams will begin a three-game series in Miami on Tuesday and with both teams going in opposite directions, it’s possible that the rosters both teams begin with on Tuesday night could be much different when they board their respective planes on Thursday afternoon.
About the Twins
The Twins come into the three-game set in Miami after taking three of four games from the Chicago White Sox. After the competitive, yet unsuccessful, three-game series with the New York Yankees, the Twins needed some momentum and got it by flexing their muscles thanks to three home runs by Nelson Cruz on Thursday and a five-run inning that helped open up a blowout victory on Sunday.
While the Twins would like to take care of business on the field, a lot of the attention during this series is going to be off of it. The Twins have been one of the most aggressive buyers before Wednesday’s trade deadline and in a perfect world, the Twins would add another bullpen arm as well as a starting pitcher to help bolster their pitching staff.
The key on the field is that the Twins will need to stay focused. Last time the Twins faced a struggling team in the National League East, it didn’t go well as the New York Mets swept a two-game series at Target Field with both games ending in meltdown fashion. With the momentum built up in Chicago, it should be enough to propel the Twins to at least a series victory over a team that should be full-blown sellers.
About the Marlins
While the Twins are excited about who could be joining them by the end of the series, the Marlins are in the awkward position on who could be on the way out in Miami. The Marlins have been sellers almost since the second Derek Jeter got off the plane as team CEO. For a team that once had Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton in their outfield, the Marlins are a shell of the team they were when Jeter took over.
So that’s why the Marlins find themselves in full rebuild mode heading into yet another trade deadline. With Sergio Romo already being shipped to the Twins over the weekend, Miami has another batch of trade candidates that could be out the door by the time the Twins and Marlins take the field on Wednesday night.
While there aren’t many names that will perk up the ears of fans outside of Miami, it’s possible that Starlin Castro could be on the way out. Shortstop Miguel Rojas could also be of interest to contending teams as he has been heating up at the right time.
Tuesday: Jake Odorizzi (11-5, 3.84 ERA) vs. Zac Gallen (1-2, 2.76 ERA)
Wednesday: Jose Berrios (9-5, 2.94 ERA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (4-9, 4.18 ERA)
Thursday: Michael Pineda (7-5, 4.30 ERA) vs. Jordan Yamamoto (4-2, 3.64 ERA)
Out of the three probable starters for the Twins in this series, the one to keep an eye on will be Odorizzi on Tuesday night. The right-hander was stellar during the first half of the season and earned his first career All-Star appearance, but has gone 2-3 with a 7.99 ERA since June 15. That number was capped off in his last start when Odorizzi allowed nine runs in just two innings against the Yankees on July 24.
Berrios should have a quiet start on Wednesday and another key starter will be Pineda on Thursday. While Odorizzi has gone downhill, Pineda has been on an upward trajectory since coming off the injured list on June 7. Since the Twins have gone 7-2 in Pineda’s nine starts while he’s picked up a 3-2 record and a 3.12 ERA in 52 innings.