Well the Minnesota Twins are in reverse. Between a rash of injuries and the bats going completely frozen, Minnesota is in a tough bind. If we’re being honest, it’s going to be tough sledding to try and get into the playoffs.
First the bad for the Twins: They’re in the midst of a six-game losing skid, falling 4 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Guardians and a paltry one game over .500. Cleveland has gone the opposite direction, posting the top record in the American League Since the All-Star break.
Now some good news: Chicago isn’t a realistic contender. They’re also dealing with a lot of injuries as well, and with Tim Anderson on the IL they’re really struggling to compete as well. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help the Twins play better.
How far can the Minnesota Twins fall behind and still make the playoffs?
Just how far can they realistically fall behind and hope to catch up? To be blunt, there isn’t much wiggle room left. Let’s break down some scenarios for the rest of the way that see the Twins making the playoffs..
Ideal Minnesota Twins Playoff Scenario: Cleveland falls apart, going 16-23.
What do the Guardians have to do: In looking at their schedule for the rest of the way, the worst record that I think Cleveland could have the rest of the way is 16-23. It would take a drastic turn, but it would make the Twins’ path a lot easier.
What do the Twins have to do: Minnesota would have to go 20-19. This is a realistic win total for the Twins down the stretch, and it would land them in the playoffs for the third time in four years.
Possible Minnesota Twins Playoff Scenario: Cleveland goes .500 or just under, finishing the rest of the way 19-20
What do the Guardians have to do: It’s going to be tough for Cleveland to really fall apart, but if they sink closer to their team talent level and have Seattle beat up on them, the Twins will have a chance.
What do the Twins have to do: For the Twins to make the playoffs in this scenario they’d need to go 23-16. That’s a .590 winning percentage, which is still possible but is a tough road. The Twins would have to win all remaining head to head series. This is about what the maximum win total I could see the Twins putting up as I look ahead.
Unlikely Minnesota Twins Playoff Scenario: Cleveland plays over .500 ball, going over 21-18
What do the Guardians have to do: The Guardians’ pace drops slightly in this scenario, but they still keep steaming forward, finishing the year with 87 wins.
What do the Twins have to do: The Twins will have to go 25-14 with a winning .650 winning percentage. In this scenario the Twins are winning nearly every series the rest of the way. Given the current state of the team, I wouldn’t like our chances.
Impossible in Scenario #4: Cleveland goes 23-16 sustaining their current pace
What do the Guardians have to do: The Guardians keep doing exactly what they’re doing and just miss the 90 win mark to finish with 89 wins.
What do the Twins have to do: The Twins will have to go 27-12 and play at a .690 winning percentage which is just not realistic.
At this point Cleveland has control of their destiny and the Twins are looking up at their back side. It’s not a pretty view. We can make excuses as to why, and valid or not, in the end of the day that’s all they are: excuses. As Twins fans all we can do is cheer for wins and remember the famous saying: There’s always next year!!