Judging by how things went on opening weekend, it's obvious the Twins are going to the World Series.
Fine, I'll pump the breaks but both the offense and starting pitching was extremely impressive against a Cleveland Indians team that boasts one of the best rotations.
With the Twins taking two of three from AL Central Division juggernauts, it's imperative that the Minnesota continues a hot start to cushion themselves at the top of the standings.
Minnesota and Cleveland won't see each other for two months – June 4-6 – so in the meantime, the Twins have a chance put some distance between themselves and a Cleveland team battling injuries.
Twins schedule in April
- April 3-5 at Kansas City
- April 5-7 at Philadelphia
- April 9-10 at New York Mets
- April 12-14 vs. Detroit
- April 15-18 vs Toronto
- April 19-21 at Baltimore
- April 22-24 at Houston
- April 26-28 vs. Baltimore
- April 29- May 1 vs. Houston
Minnesota plays 27 games the rest of the month and there's some decent teams in that mix.
The Phillies, and Mets to a degree, are on the up-and-up and both series' are on the road so the Twins will play by National League rules. The Twins also play the Astros six times by the time May rolls around – but won't have to face them again the rest of the season.
However, there are some soft spots in the schedule like Detroit, Toronto and Baltimore. Those three teams could arguably be three of the worst teams in baseball this season.
Sixteen of the 27 games are against bottom feeders, so let's say Minnesota wins each of those series and goes 11-5 against Kansas City, Detroit, Baltimore and Toronto.
Meanwhile, in the 11 games against Philly, Houston and the New York Mets – where the Twins are scheduled to face Jacob deGrom – let's say they go 6-5.
That would put the Twins at 19-11 by May 2.
Cleveland has a softer schedule than the Twins but here's who they face this month.
Indians schedule in April
- April 3 vs. Chicago (currently wrapping up a series vs. White Sox)
- April 4-7 vs. Toronto
- April 9-11 at Detroit
- April 12-14 at Kansas City
- April 15-17 at Seattle
- April 19-21 vs. Atlanta
- April 23-24 vs. Miami
- April 25-28 at Houston
- April 30-May 1 at Miami
The Indians will play 25 games the rest of the month.
Cleveland will see the same bottom feeders the Twins face: Toronto, Detroit, Kansas City and even Miami, who is projected for 66 wins this season, according to PECOTA.
Cleveland does however have a four-game series in Houston and will host the Braves – also no slouch – for three games.
It's safe to say the Indians have it a bit easier than the Twins, but the their lineup is a mess.
Outside of Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana, go through their lineup and tell me if you've even heard of half these guys?
- Leonys Martin
- Jose Ramirez
- Jake Bauers
- Carlos Santana
- Hanley Ramirez (lol)
- Brad Miller (not the basketball player)
- Roberto Perez
- Tyler Naquin
- Eric Stamets
Half of these players might be playing for the St. Paul Saints in a few years.
There's no question Cleveland has a better rotation than most teams but there's this crazy concept in baseball that if you can't score runs, you're not going to win a lot of games.
Oh, and their best player – and probably the best shortstop in baseball – Francisco Lindor, sprained his ankle in a minor league scrimmage last week.
He was already expected to miss the month of April because of a strained calf. Now he's out indefinitely and the lineup desperately misses his presence.
Let's say Cleveland goes just over .500 – 13-12 – the rest of the month. That would put them at 15-14 by May 2 and four games back of the Twins in my hypothetical breakdown.
It's very early in the season, and the standings at the end of April doesn't mean jack for making the playoffs, but this Cleveland team could be in trouble if they can't score runs.
If the Twins can take care of business and get continued success from their lineup and starting staff, they could finally dethrone this Indians team that has won the AL Central three years in a row.