Minnesota Twins: Who should start Game 1 of the ALDS?

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 16: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of the game at Target Field on September 16, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 16: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of the game at Target Field on September 16, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – SEPTEMBER 29: Starting pitcher Martin Perez #33 of the Minnesota Twins pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – SEPTEMBER 29: Starting pitcher Martin Perez #33 of the Minnesota Twins pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The rest & a prediction

The other options for the Twins are outside of the box, but may not be effective. Martin Perez was strong at the beginning of the season, but after starting the year 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA, he’s gone 3-6 with a 6.29 ERA since. Kyle Gibson was also a starting option at the beginning of the season, but his stomach issues have relegated him to the bullpen for the postseason run.

The Twins could even decide to throw a bullpen game in the same fashion that the Milwaukee Brewers did last postseason. By choosing to start Gibson, Perez or even flame-throwing rookie Brusdar Graterol, the Twins could ride their bullpen out to set up another potential bullpen game for Game 5 where a majority of their staff would be available.

In the end, it’s highly likely that the Twins will get crazy with their decision. While Jose Berrios has struggled in the final weeks of the season, they should have seen enough from Odorizzi and Dobnak that they can feel comfortable starting them at Yankee Stadium.

Kepler, Arraez make progress ahead of ALDS. dark. Next

Our prediction is that the Twins will turn to Odorizzi in Game 1 and then use Dobnak in Game 2. That saves Jose Berrios for Game 3 and can leave the door open for a bullpen game in Game 4. It’s not as simple as the Houston Astros throwing Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, but it should be viable enough to give Minnesota a chance to steal a game or two in the Bronx.

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