Minnesota Twins: Series with Los Angeles Dodgers offers Monumental Test
The Minnesota Twins currently sit in first place in the American League Central, tied with the Cleveland Guardians and leading the Chicago White Sox by two and a half games. They desperately need to build some space for the tough month ahead.
The Guardians get six games against the Detroit Tigers over their next ten. The White Sox have five against the Kansas City Royals and Tigers, than see the Astros and Guardians before finishing the month with an easy Royals-Orioles-Diamondbacks-Royals stretch. The Twins don’t have that luxury.
The Minnesota Twins need to put up a fight against the Dodgers to help their division lead.
Minnesota gets two games against the Dodgers, and while it faces winnable games against the Los Angeles Angels, Royals, and Rangers, they finish the month with a meat grinder of the Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox and Giants are always tough opponents for the Twins, so despite them being just under .500, it’s tough sledding in the month ahead. Going into Los Angeles to play the Dodgers is a tough place to start.
That’s why these two games are so important. It’s a short, two-game series in LA. The Twins need to pick up at least one of these games to put the pressure on Cleveland and get them ready for the tough stretch ahead. Can they do it?
The Dodgers just swept the San Diego Padres, the team that arguably had the best trade deadline and have won nine of their last ten. They feature a deep pitching group and one of the most complete lineups in baseball. It’s definitely possible.
The Twins have Joe Ryan going against Julio Urias tonight. Sonny Gray takes the mound tomorrow. Getting your two best starters on the mound is huge. They also had a day off yesterday, so their top four bullpen arms and shiny trade acquisitions are rested and ready to go.
The lineup isn’t missing many of it’s top players outside of Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach. Sandy Leon is set to catch, and he’s been a massive upgrade over Gary Sanchez so far. It’s a good looking group:
No one is expecting the Twins to win this game (betting odds have the Dodgers as sizeable favorites at -233), but after Rocco was ejected on Sunday, this team should come in with some fire.
If the Twins can eek out a win in either game, they will have shown their ability against a World Series contender and added a key win towards taking home the division crown later in October. Let’s go Twins!