As hard as it's been to see the Minnesota Twins falter as we near the All-Star break, the second half of the season sets up nicely for the team to take advantage of the weak AL Central.
Right out of the gate, it's very notable that the Twins have perhaps the most favorable schedule in the AL Central.
Minnesota has better pitching and offense than Cleveland. If we're being real that will be the Twins bar, to be just a little bit better than Cleveland. The Guardians have 12 series in the second half with teams currently having winning records compared to the Twins 8.
What is needed?
The obvious answer is the Twins need to get the offense more consistent. Carlos Correa and crew need to step up. The strikeout rate is absolutely atrocious. The clock is ticking on some Twins players so it will be time to produce or be replaced. Will they add a bat at the trade deadline? It's possible, but my hunch is it won't be as impactful as some Twins fans would hope.
Another area that has been popping up due to recent injury is the bullpen. I would expect a move or 2 at the trade deadline to add some depth. Hopefully Jorge Lopez can come back refreshed as he has the ability to be an impact arm in the pen. Caleb Thielbar will hopefully be back after the All-Star break, which will give some help from the left side of the mound.
Will the Twins be able to compete with any play-off team outside of the AL Central? Currently the answering is a resounding question mark. Atlanta made the Twins look like a 2nd class team in their current sweep. Than the Twins bounced back by taking 2 of 3 from a solid Baltimore squad. The bats and bullpen will certainly have to heat up for any chance of a singular play-off win, let alone a series victory.
As bad as the Twins have stumbled the past few weeks, the AL Central remains Minnesota's division to lose. With the starting pitching propping them up and just barely enough offense more than the Guardians, Minnesota still remains the frontrunner.
Is a World Series run in the future, a topic remain to be seen.