Minnesota Twins: A Twins Fan’s Guide on who to root for to end 2021

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Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Nelson Cruz reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning at Fenway Park. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Nelson Cruz reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning at Fenway Park. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Minnesota Twins
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

Playoff Longshots for Minnesota Twins Fans to Root For

We’re starting off these rankings with the teams that likely won’t make it in. These teams are pretty much out of the hunt, but if everything breaks right, they could make it in and their fans could cheer for one of the hottest teams in baseball.

New York Mets (72-75, 5.5 GB in NL East, 5 GB in Wild Card)

The only team on this list with a losing record, the Mets have dropped three straight with just 16 games to go. Powered by a solid rotation and bullpen, the Mets need to get hot quickly to catch the division leading Braves or the Wild Card Cardinals.

They have a strong Minnesota Twins connection with Trevor May, Rich Hill, and Minnesota Native Brad Hand, and they’re a fun team with Javy Baez, Marcus Stroman, and Francisco Lindor. With that being said, rooting for a New York team isn’t as fun, and the Mets likely won’t make the playoffs anyway.

Seattle Mariners (78-68, 7.5 GB in AL West, 4 GB in Wild Card)

Do you like rooting for an underdog? Do you like a young and hungry team that’s just seeing it’s contention window open? The Mariners could be for you. Only players in their lineup are over 30 and despite a below-average rotation, they’re still sticking around.

Unfortunately, they face an uphill climb to make it to the playoffs with the Athletics, Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays all fighting for the same two spots in front of them. There are other underdogs to cheer for with far better odds.

Philadelphia Phillies (73-72, 3.5 GB in NL East, 3 GB in Wild Card)

The Phillies are like the Anti-Mariners. Philadelphia’s roster is mostly over the age of 30, and their starting pitching is fine, but definitely not a strength. They also still have a shot in their division, where a hobbled Braves team can’t quite shut the door.

Kyle Gibson and Ronald Torryes represent the Twins in Philly, so seeing Gibby have some success could be fun. Passing both the Padres and Cardinals OR the Braves is a tall order though, so I’d bet you may want to look elsewhere for a team to root for.

Oakland Athletics (78-67, 7 GB in AL West, 3.5 GB in Wild Card)

The penny-pinching Athletics have watched a solid team without a lot of star power fight it’s way into the playoff hunt. Sound familiar? That’s because that’s their recipe every year. A sneaky good rotation and bullpen are backed by All-Star trade acquisition Starling Marte and a streaky lineup, but they’re just 3.5 games back again.

There isn’t a Minnesota connection here, but the Athletics are always a fun underdog to root for. If they manage to sneak into the playoffs, they have the rotation and lineup potential for a deep playoff run.

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