According to a recent article from Matt Kelly at MLB.com the Minnesota Twins have the easiest schedule of 18 teams vying for the playoffs.
A few different points mentioned in the article for each team are winning percentage, chance to make the playoffs, and who the specific team has left to play. He puts the Minnesota Twins postseason odds at 97.8% which seems more than possible considering their current position. Even if they lose out on winning the division, they currently would have a 3 1/2 game lead in the wild card race. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that.
With teams like the Rangers, Tigers, and White Sox coming up, it’s easy to see why their schedule is considered the weakest. They’ve already gone through the rough patch of games that the Indians are still scheduled to play. Teams like the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox will be gearing up for a postseason push and will give the Indians all they can handle.
As I stated in an article a few weeks back, the Minnesota Twins have quite a few more match-ups with the weaker divisional opponents than the Indians do. Something that should help them in their quest to win the division and head to the playoffs without going through the dreaded wild-card game.
The Indians on the other hand have a much tougher schedule left to play. While it’s not tough enough to count them out just yet, it will make things a lot more difficult. According to Matt, the Indians have a 91.1% chance to make the playoffs. Regardless of how the division plays out, either team that comes in second should have a solid chance at the wild-card.
Here’s what Matt Kelly had to say about the Twins and Indians schedules respectively, “But after this weekend, Minnesota can feast on the fading Rangers (four games), White Sox (six games) and Tigers (seven games), meaning it should be in a good position to really put the Indians away the next time they meet (Sept. 6-8 at MIN) if Cleveland struggles during a somewhat tougher stretch (three games against Boston, seven against the Yankees and Mets and three against the Rays)”.
No matter who has the division lead at the time, the series in September against the Indians will surely be a big one. As Kelly points out, it would be great if the Twins are in a position to not only stay ahead in the division but pull away as well. Only time will tell but at least the Minnesota Twins have strength of schedule on their side.