For the first time in 21-years, the Minnesota Twins are advancing in the postseason as series winners. Saying that is never going to get old, but now that the team has bucked the ugliest playoff losing streak in professional sports, it's time to start carving out a new legacy.
Minnesota's reward for ending its playoff curse is a date with the defending World Series champions in the ALDS. The Twins head to Houston, where they will be put to the test against one of the best teams in the entire league.
There's a certain level of confidence the Twins are bringing to Houston, as Minnesota won its season series against the Astros 4-2 this year. Postseason baseball hits different, though, and the Astros are a completely different beast in October.
Unlike years past, there isn't a feeling of impending doom nor does it feel like the Twins are staring up the slopes of an impossibly steep mountain. The team is red hot after winning its AL Wild Card series, which is the first step in making waves in the postseason. Royce Lewis is on fire, the pitching is as reliable as it's ever been, and the vibes are absolutely immaculate.
Houston won't be an easy opponent, but for the first time in what feels like forever, that's a statement that goes both ways.
ALDS 2023: Twins vs. Astros TV schedule (Updated)
All four Wild Card series wrapped up early this year, which means there won't be any baseball played on Thursday. MLB budgeted for a potential third game in each Wild Card series, but the Twins, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Rangers all won in two game sweeps.
Even if the Wild Card round needed to use all three days, the start of the ALDS and NLDS wasn't going to be impacted. At the end of the season, MLB announced that Saturday October 7th would be the day the next round kicks off, with all four series getting underway on the same day.
Minnesota will once again start in the early window, but will play in primetime on Sunday night. Tuesday's game is another early start -- which is brutal for fans trying to balance work with getting to Target Field -- and will be nationally televised on FOX.
Here's all of the TV schedule information for the Twins-Astros series:
Saturday, Oct. 7th
Sunday, Oct. 8th
Tuesday, Oct. 10th
Wednesday, Oct. 11th
Friday, Oct. 13th
ALDS 2023: Twins vs. Astros probable pitchers
Had the AL Wild Card series gone the distance, Joe Ryan was in line to start Game 3 for Minnesota. Now that the Twins are off to the ALDS, it would make sense for Rocco Baldelli to stick with that plan and pitch Ryan in Game 1.
Kenta Maeda deserves some consideration at the Game 1 starter, though, and it's likely that he'll be ready to go if Ryan sputters out of the gate and needs to be yanked on a short leash.
- Game 1: Bailey Ober vs. Justin Verlander
- Game 2: Pablo Lopez vs. Framber Valdez
- Game 3: Sonny Gray vs. TBD
- *Game 4: TBD vs. TBD
- *Game 5: Pablo Lopez vs. TBD