The Twins will play their 20th game Monday night when they begin a three-game series in Houston against the Astros after sweeping a three-game series in Baltimore over the weekend.
The first-place Twins (12-7) are a game ahead of Cleveland in the AL Central, and while the pitching has left a little something to be desired early on, the offense has lived up to preseason hype.
Here are seven eye-popping stats, most of them good, so far (and they don't include the fact that Willians Astudillo has still only struck out once all season).
1. OPS kings
Three of the American League's top 11 in OPS are Twins: Jorge Polanco (1.083), Eddie Rosario (1.018), Nelson Cruz (1.014). Only 13 players in the AL have an OPS of 1.000+, so the fact that three of them are Twins is pretty incredible.
2. Doubles machine
Byron Buxton leads the majors in doubles with 12. What's crazy is that of Buxton's 17 hits this season, 13 are for extra bases (he has one triple). He's on pace for 102 doubles, which would break the MLB record of 67 by just a hair.
3. The only player in the AL with ...
Back to Buxton for this one. He's the only player in the AL without a home run who still has an .850+ OPS. His .855 OPS ranks 36th in the AL. The next closest player without a home run is Detroit's Nic Castellanos, who ranks 66th with a .722 OPS.
4. Winning despite pitching
This is the frightening part of the stunning statistics. Minnesota has had just eight quality starts in 19 games and opponents are hitting .262 against relievers (12th in AL). That's not a signal for long-term success, and the pitching will eventually have to hold up its end of the bargain.
5. Eddie Rosario's power
The Twins still have eight games left in April and Rosario already has nine home runs. With just one more blast, he'll become just the fifth Twin since 2009 hit 10+ homers in a month.
- 13 HR - Brian Dozier, August 2016
- 11 HR - Josh Willingham, July 2012
- 11 HR - Joe Mauer, May 2009
- 10 HR - Brian Dozier, September 2016
- 10 HR - Justin Morneau, May 2007 and June 2006
6. Among the best at the plate
Minnesota's team batting average of .274 ranks second in all of baseball, only trailing Houston (.276). The Twins also rank eighth in on-base percentage (.342), second in slugging percentage (.508) and second in OPS (.850). The top team OPS in the majors last year was Boston at .792.
7. Fans aren't showing up at Target Field
Despite a potent offense and winning record, the last five games at Target Field have resulted in the five smallest crowds in the ballpark's history. Check out the announced attendance figures from last week's games.
- Sunday vs. Detroit – 14,774
- Monday vs. Toronto – 11,727
- Tuesday vs. Toronto – 13,365
- Wednesday vs. Toronto – 11,465
- Thursday vs. Toronto – 12,523
Better weather and more intriguing competition, along with more winning, should help alleviate the attendance issue.
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