Publish date:

Here's how the Twins can clinch the AL Central this week

Minnesota can clinch as soon as Wednesday night.
Author:
Target Field

The final week of the MLB's regular season has arrived and that means the Twins will undoubtedly celebrate as champions of the AL Central division one of the next seven days. 

Entering play Monday, the Twins' magic number is three. That means any combination of Twins wins and Indians losses totaling three will clinch Minnesota's first division title since 2010. 

The Twins lead the Indians by four games, which sets up the following possible clinching scenarios for Minnesota over the final week. 

  • If the Twins go 0-6, the Indians need to go 4-2 to tie or 5-1 to win the division. 
  • If the Twins go 1-5, the Indians need to go 5-1 to tie or 6-0 to win the division.
  • If the Twins go 2-4, the Indians need to go 6-0 to tie. They can't win. 
  • If the Twins go 3-3, the Indians cannot win nor tie the AL Central. 

How the Twins clinch Wednesday

Neither the Twins nor Indians play Monday, so the earliest the Twins could clinch is Wednesday. That could happen if the Twins beat the Tigers Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Indians lose Tuesday or Wednesday against the the White Sox. It could also happen with one Twins win Tuesday or Wednesday paired with two Indians losses. 

How the Twins clinch Thursday

If the Twins sweep the Tigers they clinch the division. That means wins on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If the Twins win two of three against Detroit, they clinch so long as the Indians lose one of their three games against the White Sox. If the Twins win just one of three against the Tigers, they would need the Indians to lose twice to Chicago. If the Twins get swept, they can still clinch Thursday if the Indians get swept by the Chicago. 

Should we worry if the Twins haven't clinched by Friday?

If the Twins get swept by Detroit and the Indians sweep Chicago, then both teams would enter their final series of the season with the Twins leading the Indians by one game in the AL Central. 

It'd definitely be reason for pause, but even so, the Indians finish the season with three road games against the likely playoff-bound Nationals, while the Twins face the Royals, whom they are 11-4 against this season. 

We'll deal with that hypothetical situation if it arises, but it doesn't appear all that likely. 

Will Twins face Yankees or Astros in the playoffs?

If the Twins win the AL Central they will likely be headed to New York or Houston – the team that finishes runner-up in the AL standings – for a best-of-five series in the ALDS. 

Houston (102-54) leads the Yankees (102-55) by a half-game entering play Tuesday (both are off Monday). Houston also has an easier schedule, albeit all six are on the road, against the Mariners and Angels. The Yankees have to play the Rays in Tampa Bay for two and then close the regular season on the road against Rangers for three. 

It'll be tight, but the odds favor the Twins and Yankees meeting up once again in the playoffs.

Next Up

Joel Eriksson Ek

Eriksson Ek's hat trick completes Wild's rally over Jets

A late review helped the Wild win their home opener.

Screen Shot 2021-10-19 at 8.11.35 PM

Watch: Marcus Foligno starts fight with a superman punch

Foligno was not messing around in the first period.

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

At least 1 dead after 'serious crash' on I-94 in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

Related

Image from iOS (58)

Division champs! Twins clinch AL Central for first time since 2010

The Twins are going back to the playoffs. It's finally official.

Nelson Cruz

Big challenge: Twins face Yankees with Indians charging in AL Central

This is not what the Twins had envisioned with an 11.5-game lead in early June.

Willians Astudillo

Twins' magic number at 2, matchup with Yankees looking likely

Houston has a 1.5-game lead over New York for the AL's best record.

Rocco Baldelli

Yankees, Astros now have bigger division leads than Twins

Minnesota has the third-best record in the AL entering play Friday.

Luis Arraez

Twins leave Cleveland with bigger lead in the AL Central

A later homer lifted the Indians to a win Sunday.