Minnesota Twins Sunday Wrap-Up: Twins get hot at right time in Week 10
By Otto Johnson
The Minnesota Twins head into today’s game in the driver’s seat for the second seed of the playoffs off the heels of a great Week 10.
The Minnesota Twins came into this week lagging behind the White Sox in the division, and exited with a one game lead in baseball’s toughest division. A 4-1 week from the Twins and a 1-6 week from the White Sox sets up a big final game.
On top of all that, there have been final pitching performances and some injuries for the team heading into the playoffs at almost full strength. We dig into all that and more, as we wrap up the final week of the regular season.
Minnesota Twins get Hot at the Right Time: Injuries, Pitching, and more
- The Minnesota Twins were looking up at the White Sox in the division heading into this week, but after winning 4 out of 5 and watching Cleveland sweep the Sox on the way to a 1-6 week for them. This set up the big Sunday game today.
- Though the Twins did put themselves in a good spot the rest of the way, they also had several key players get injured. Josh Donaldson went down with right calf cramps and Byron Buxton went down with a head contusion. Both were held out of the finale as a precaution, and should be fine, but it’s worrisome that they went down this close to the playoffs.
- On the positive side, Luis Arraez is back and hit really well in his first game yesterday. He went 4-4 with three RBI and three doubles. Having his bat back in the lineup will be huge for the Twins, and he will likely finish as the team’s batting average champion.
- The rotation for the playoffs are set after seeing the starters go in order to end the year:
- As for the fifth starter, I would be surprised if Jake Odorizzi gets the nod here. Unless the Twins feel comfortable pitching Maeda on a short rest, it makes the most sense to have the former all-star starting the game.
- The offense continued to look better in Week 10, averaging 5 runs per game and continuing to hit well, even against some really good pitching. This group looks ready for the playoffs, and if Donaldson and Buxton are healthy, this is going to be a very hard team to beat.
Around the AL Central: Taking a Look at the Minnesota Twins Rivals
- Chicago White Sox (35-24): An epic failure was needed for the White Sox to fall out of first place in the division, and that’s exactly what happened. The team gave up 6 runs a game while only scoring 3.28. They need win or a Cleveland loss to secure the fourth seed, but this was a long fall for a team that was red-hot a week ago.
- Cleveland Indians (34-25): Cleveland has the eighth best record in the entire MLB but will finish seventh in the AL because of the system. This is a good team, and arguably one of the hottest groups in baseball right now.
- Kansas City Royals (25-34): The Royals had their first good week in a while, going 4-3 and winning 3 of their last 4. They worked their tail off at the end and actually looked decent. Though the team is not in the playoffs, they showed real improvement in 2020.
- Detroit Tigers (23-34): The Detroit Tigers colossally fell apart at the end of 2020, going 3-12 to close out the year. Though the team saw some positives (Jeimer Candelario, Willi Castro), this is still a very bad team.
Around the MLB: Important Minnesota Twins-related news around the league
- We’ll finish this one off with the last Playoff Picture, as there is still a lot that remains unsolved:
- In the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays are the one, and that spot is sure.
- If the Twins win OR the A’s and White Sox lose, they’re the second seed. If the Twins lose and the A’s win but the White Sox lose, the A’s are the second seed and the Twins are the third seed. If the Twins lose, the White Sox win, and the A’s lose, the Twins are fourth, the A’s third, and White Sox second.
- The Yankees need the Blue Jays to lose OR a win to lock up the fifth seed, while the Blue Jays need a win and Yankees loss to be the fifth seed.
- Finally, Cleveland needs a win AND a White Sox loss to be the fourth seed, otherwise they are the seventh seed. The Astros are locked in as the sixth seed.
- In the National League, the Dodgers are one, the Braves are two, the Cubs are three, the Padres are four, but that’s where the certainty stops.
- The Marlins need a win AND a Cardinals and Reds loss to lock up the fifth seed.
- The Cardinals need a win to lock up a spot in the playoffs and the fifth seed.
- The Reds need a win and a St. Louis loss to lock up the fifth seed.
- The Brewers need a win OR a Giants loss to make the playoffs.
- The Phillies need a win AND a Brewers and Giants loss to make the playoffs.
- Buckle up for the end of these games, as this is going to be a WILD final day for a complete roller coaster of a 2020 season.