With a 3 1/2 game lead on the Cleveland Indians atop the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins can create some breathing room heading into a crucial stretch.
Thanks to the New York Mets sweep of the Cleveland Indians (see tweet below courtesy of Thor), the Minnesota Twins were able to build a 3 1/2 game lead in the division. While they should’ve capitalized and added insurance against a struggling Chicago White Sox club, the Twins still have control of their playoff hopes. With an easier 10-game stretch that kicks off tonight against the Detroit Tigers, the Twins can create some breathing room before a brutal string of games.
While it’s true the Indians erased a double-digit lead thanks to an extremely soft schedule, the Twins happen to play in that very same division. After finishing the Tigers series, the Twins will open September against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The schedule heats up with the Indians and Nationals visiting Target Field for 3 apiece and the Twins heading to Cleveland for 3 more.
While I believe the Twins can and will distance themselves in the two remaining series against Cleveland, it never hurts to have some insurance. While it’s nice to have some help in the playoff hunt, I’d much rather see the Twins distance themselves now while they have the opportunity.
Though they’re in obvious rebuild mode, the Tigers are quite clearly the worst team in baseball. With 7 of the next 10 coming against the worst team in the league, the Minnesota Twins must take full advantage of a great opportunity. While the most important games remaining are against the Indians, it would be wonderful for the Twins to have some insurance to fall back on.