How the Twins' starting staff compares to the best teams in the American League

Berrios, Odorizzi and Perez own three of the top-10 ERAs in the AL.
Author:
Publish date:
Jose Berrios

Eyes open when Twins pitchers are shutting down potent lineups like the Astros and Yankees have, but is Minnesota's up-and-coming starting staff good enough to win in the playoffs?

Coupled with a potent batting order, anything is possible. But when push comes to shove, Minnesota's starting staff still has more to prove to be considered good enough to go head-to-head with the best arms in the American League come October. 

With Jose Berrios fairly established as the Twins' best starting pitcher, the next two in line, at the moment, appear to be Jake Odorizzi and Martin Perez, followed by Kyle Gibson and Michael Pineda. 

Check out each pitcher's 2019 numbers as a starter

  • Berrios: 2.91 ERA, 46 K, 46.1 IP, 0.97 WHIP, .216 OPP AVG
  • Odorizzi: 2.78 ERA, 38 K, 38.2 IP, 1.09 WHIP, 1.90 OPP AVG
  • Perez: 1.64 ERA, 27 K, 37 IP, 0.97 WHIP, .214 OPP AVG
  • Gibson: 4.68 ERA, 29 K, 32.2 IP, 1.32 WHIP, .258 OPP AVG
  • Pineda: 6.09 ERA, 30 K, 34 IP, 1.53 WHIP, .314 OPP AVG

Pineda is getting rocked on the regular while Gibson hasn't flashed the ability to dominate the way he did in 2018. But the trio of Berrios, Odorizzi and Perez have been extremely good, allowing a combined total of 32 earned runs in 115 innings. That's good for a combined 2.50 ERA. 

Most encouraging is that they're pitching well against potent lineups. 

Odorizzi is fresh off back-to-back gems without allowing a run to the Astros and Yankees; Perez pitched eight shutout innings against Houston and followed that up with seven shutout innings in Toronto's hitter-friendly ballpark. Berrios has been rock-solid in six of his seven starts, allowing more than two runs just twice. 

In fact, this might surprise some, but Odorizzi, Perez and Berrios have three of the top-10 ERAs in the American League, and that includes Perez's bullpen outings that increase his overall ERA to 2.83. 

But in a best-of-five or seven-game playoff series, can Berrios, Odorizzi and Perez hold their own against the other top 1-2-3 punches in the AL?

Astros: Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Wade Miley

Yankees: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Daniel German

Rays: Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton

Indians: Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Shane Bieber (Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger injured)

Red Sox: Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello

Those are the top staffs in the American League, so regardless of who the Twins face if they reach the playoffs, they'll be opposed by some of the best arms in the game. 

Cole and Verlander rank first and third, respectively, in the AL in strikeouts and Miley (3.20 ERA) is a solid left-hander. It'd be very easy to go down two games to none having to face Verlander and Cole, regardless of how well Berrios and Odorizzi are pitching. They're why Houston is arguably the class of the AL, and we're not even getting into how dominating Houston's bullpen is. 

The Yankees have a trio of flame-throwers in Paxton, Severino and German. Paxton is battling knee soreness but when healthy he's one of the best lefties in the league, and his 52 strikeouts in 37.2 innings ranks fifth in the AL. German is fresh off a dominating win over the Twins on Sunday, and Severino, although he's out until after the All-Star break because of shoulder inflammation, is as good as they get when healthy. 

Tampa Bay boasts the reigning AL Cy Young winner in Snell while adding the electric right arm of Charlie Morton (formerly of Houston) in free agency. They also have Glasnow, whose 1.47 ERA leads the league. 

Cleveland's rotation is loaded even without Kluber and Clevinger, who are injured. But Minnesota might not have to worry about the Indians if they simply win the division. 

Boston has struggled early this season (17-19) but with Sale and Price they're built for the playoffs, although Minnesota has a history of success against Sale. 

Minnesota's trio of Berrios, Odorizzi and Perez are off to very encouraging starts, but matched up against any of the aforementioned staffs, they'd likely be the underdog. 

Next Up

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.

vaccine

It could take months to vaccinate MN teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Herb Brooks statue

Trump's planned statue garden would include 2 Minnesotans, others with MN links

But there were some notable names absent from the wide-ranging and eclectic list.

k9 zeke

Petition seeks to allow retired Corcoran officer to keep K9 partner

Corcoran's public safety director says if K9 Zeke is donated to the officer it will be a loss for the department.

covid

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 18

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Tom Kelly Jr.

Tom Kelly Jr., son of Twins World Series manager, dies at 42

He was a member of the 2001 UST national championship team.

Hennepin County CSI

Police: Man shot in the head by woman in Richfield

It happened in the early hours of Monday.

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas students robbed by suspects in ski masks

Nobody was injured in the early Saturday incident.

Related

What the Twins' starting rotation could look like

Jose Berrios is the No. 1 starter, but who follows and in what order?

Jose Berrios

The alarming statistics of the Twins starting rotation

Recently speaking, the Twins rotation is starting to implode.

Jake Odorizzi

Impressive pitching continues as Odorizzi mows down Tigers

Odorizzi retired 20 straight batters before leaving the game after seven innings.

Jake Odorizzi

Twins make pitching history but lose to Indians

Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi are off to great starts for the Twins.

Jose Berrios

Twins rock Astros, head to New York with AL's best record

At 19-10, the Twins lead the American League.

Nelson Cruz

Vegas odds favor Yankees, Astros over Twins in AL

Minnesota leads the AL with 50 wins, but bettors are buying it.

Twins offer Odorizzi deal, let Gibson, Pineda become free agents

Minnesota could still sign Gibson and Pineda as free agents.

Madison Bumgarner

What will the Twins rotation look like in 2020?

Gerrit Cole is the pipe dream, but will the Twins pay that kind of price?