Can the Twins challenge the Mariners for the most wins in a season?

It will be tough to pull off but here's how.
Publish date:
Willians Astudillo, Nelson Cruz

The MLB season is over 30 percent complete and the Minnesota Twins own the best record in baseball at 36-17. That's a winning percentage of .679.

At the rate they're going, the Twins are on pace to win 110 games by season's end, which would shatter the franchise record of 102 set by the 1965 squad that reached the World Series. The MLB record for wins in a 162-game season belongs to the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games.

Through 53 games, that Mariners team was 41-12, which is five games better than the Twins are at the same point. Still, why not think about the possibility of giving Seattle's record a run for its money? Once you see the Twins' remaining schedule, you might start to consider the long shot a realistic possibility. 

As pointed out by Aaron Gleeman of Baseball Prospectus, just 33 of the Twins' remaining 109 games are against teams with winning records. In other words, 75 of those 109 games are against teams with losing records. 

Here's how many games they'll play against division foes.

  • 16 games vs. Cleveland
  • 17 games vs. Kansas City
  • 13 games vs. Detroit
  • 16 games vs. White Sox
  • Grand total: 62 against AL Central teams

The Indians are 26-27 and the Royals, Tigers and White Sox are a combined 60-95.

Dominating those four AL Central opponents is critical if the Twins are to have a shot at the wins record. Let's say the Twins go 35-11 against the Royals, Tigers and White Sox, and 11-5 in their 16 remaining games against the Indians. If you add that projected record to the Twins' current record it equals 82-33. 

The bottom feeders in this division do not scare anybody, so there's no reason the Twins can't win 75 percent of their games against them. 

The Tigers are going in the wrong direction having lost nine of their last 10. Everyone knew Kansas City would likely be one of the worst teams in baseball. The White Sox might be on the rise next year considering their farm system is one of the best in baseball, but they're not there yet.

Minnesota also plays the Yankees and Red Sox nine more times. If they were to go 6-3 in those nine games, that puts the Twins at 88-36 (.715 winning percentage) with 38 games to account for.

The Red Sox and Yankees obviously aren't slouches. Luckily, six of those nine games are at Target Field. So if the Twins could win five of six at home, while dropping two of three in Boston, it's doable.

To get to 117 wins, they would have to go 29-9 against every other team not listed above. Or to make to this long story short, the Twins need to go 81-28 from here on out to eclipse the Mariners' record.

Even with the Twins playing so well this season, it's going to be incredibly difficult to pull off. 

The AL Central might be the worst division in baseball, but at the end of the day, this will only help the Twins' chances of solidifying home-field advantage in the postseason.

Also, the Twins have the best road record (18-8) in the league, so they've proved they can win away from Target Field, where the Twins are also top-notch with only the Los Angeles Dodgers owning a better home record.

If the Twins do break the Mariners' record, hopefully they have a better fate. That Seattle team bowed out in the ALCS to the Yankees in five games.

Isn't this winning talk fun? IN years past, we'd typically be talking about who the Twins could sell by the trade deadline at this point in the season. Instead, the team is clinging to the best record in baseball, hitting home runs at an epic pace and Target Field is jam-packed, loud and fun again.

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