Ranking the 9 Opponents the Minnesota Twins face in 2020

Byron Buxton and Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Byron Buxton and Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins will face only nine different teams in the shortened 2020 season. We rank them from best to worst.

The Minnesota Twins have been dealt a pretty easy schedule for 2019. As we looked over in our coverage of the return to baseball, the Twins will be playing 10 games against each of the American League Central teams and four against each of the National League Central teams.

This is excellent, as the Twins were the only club out of this ten team group to finish with over 93 wins, and five of these ten teams all finished below .500. This sets the Twins up as a pretty good bet to finish with the best record in the league.

It should be said though, that the Chicago White Sox got significantly better, and the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Chicago Cubs all should be improved teams. The Twins likely won’t win 50 games.

With all this in mind, we rank the Twins competitors for the next season, starting with the least threatening and building up to the toughest team they’ll face. Let’s get into it.

Minnesota Twins Competitor No. 9: Detroit Tigers

Key Players: P Matthew Boyd, 2B Jonathan Schoop, DH Miguel Cabrera

Alright, I don’t want to pile on here to the pain of Tigers fans, but the 114 loss team from last year didn’t bring in nearly enough talent to be seen as a real threat. Their two best signings were two former Twins sendoffs in Schoop and C.J Cron.

The lineup is a mess with Schoop, Cabrera, and Cron leading a disastrous lineup without a lot of talent. To make matters worse, their rotation and bullpen is very young and hasn’t show

I will say though, they have a lot of talented prospects that may debut this year, including Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Spencer Torkelson (who will reach the majors sooner than you think). That being said, this is still the worst team the Twins will face, even with a future Hall-of-Famer in Cabrera.

Minnesota Twins Competitor No. 8: Pittsburgh Pirates

Key Players: 3B Josh Bell, OF Bryan Reynolds, SS Kevin Newman, SP Joe Musgrove

I think the Pirates have a very solid lineup. Josh Bell is a criminally underrated star, Kevin Newman, Bryan Reynolds, and Adam Frazier are very good players, and I expect Cole Tucker to step up this year as well. Those are about the only nice things I could say about this team.

The team completely imploded last year, leading to a sweep of the organization. The bullpen isn’t any good outside of Richard Rodriguez with Felipe Vazquez gone. Joe Musgrove is solid, but the rotation last year put up the second-worst ERA in the NL. Mitch Keller can’t step up soon enough.

I think the Pirates and Royals are pretty close, but unless Tucker and Keller start hot and stay hot, this team just doesn’t have the talent to compete with the Brewers and Cardinals, let alone the Twins.

Minnesota Twins Competitor No. 7: Kansas City Royals

Key Players: C Salvador Perez, 2B Whit Merrifield, 3B Hunter Dozier, OF Jorge Soler

The Royals added Maikel Franco, Greg Holland, and Trevor Rosenthal this offseason, but their biggest addition was getting Salvador Perez back from injury. The six-time All-Star hasn’t played since 2018, and if he even comes back as half of the player he was before the injury, he’s a star. They have a pretty good lineup.

With Brad Keller and Danny Duffy atop the rotation, Ian Kennedy leading an improved bullpen with Holland and Rosenthal, the Royals should improve by about 10 wins from last year. Granted, that would put them at 93 losses, so don’t expect them to be a threat.