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Is it time to be all in on the Twins?

The Twins are in the driver's seat after taking a series from the Astros.

After taking three of four games at Target Field from a World Series favorite in the Houston Astros, the Twins have the best record in the American League at 19-10.

They'll now hit the road for the next week with seven games against the Yankees and Blue Jays.

With the Cleveland Indians being decimated by injuries and the Twins off to a hot start, is it time to starting buying into the Twins as legitimate contenders in the American League?

May schedule

For the month of May, the Twins will play the majority of their games away from Target Field, with 15 of 27 games on the road. Here's how I see things playing out

  • May 3-5 at Yankees
  • May 6-8 at Blue Jays
  • May 10-12 vs. Tigers (double header on the 11th)
  • May 13-15 vs. Angels
  • May 16-19 at Mariners
  • May 20-22 at Angels
  • May 24-26 vs. White Sox
  • May 27-28 vs. Brewers
  • May 30-31 at Rays

Despite Minnesota's hot start, winning at Yankee Stadium doesn't seem likely. Maybe this is the team that breaks that mold, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Regarding the Blue Jays, they're also a bottom feeder, but at the same time, Toronto took three of four at Target Field in April. Also, if you thought the Twins struggled at Yankee Stadium, it's doesn't get any better at Rodgers Centre.

The Blue Jays have a record of 116-76 (.604 winning percentage) against the Twins on home turf, so I'm going to assume the Twins lose four of those six games (I'd love to be wrong).

Meanwhile, I fully expect the Twins to take care of business against the Tigers and Angels at Target Field, and if I'm putting on my prediction hat, which I clearly am, I'll say they win five of those seven games.

Seattle is fading after an insane start, but sweeping a four-game series on the road is tough. I'll put the Twins down for a split in that four-gamer. 

The next eight games after that, the Twins should make some hay. I'll say they'll take the series' in Los Angeles and Chicago and a split with Milwaukee at Target Field. Total record over those eight games: 5-3. 

Finally, they round out the month with two games against the Rays in Tampa. The series carries over into June, but since I'm only focusing on May, I'll predict that they split the first two to finish the month. 

All-in-all, I've got the Twins going 15-12 the rest of May, which would put them at 34-22 on June 1. That'd be good for a 97-win pace by season's end. 

What about Cleveland?

Unlike the Twins, the Indians will remain at home for most of the month, as 18 of their 28 games are at Progressive Field. 

They also have some easy opponents on the docket, including eight combined games against the Orioles and White Sox, and seven matchups with the A's.

Even with the injuries piling up and the team possible heading in the wrong direction, let's say Cleveland goes .500 the rest of May. That puts them at 30-27 on June 1, meaning the Twins' lead, in my scenario, is just 4.5 games. 

Time to go all-in on the Twins?

It might still be too early to start believing the Twins will run away with the division, but that doesn't mean you should lower your excitement for this team.

Their offense continues to be one of the best in baseball and as the weather heats up, they'll be putting on a show for fans this summer.

Even though Jose Berrios has been stellar and we've seen some lights-out performances from Jake Odorizzi and Martin Perez, the team's starting pitching could be better. Same goes for the bullpen. 

Taylor Rodgers, Trevor Hildenberger and Blake Parker have been solid, and Trevor May has the potential to join them, but they clearly lack an elite-level reliever. 

Acquiring a legitimate All-Star reliever (or two for that matter) would make everyone in the bullpen better. That should be the focus come trade deadline time. This is a league that's catering more and more to relievers and shutdown bullpens, especially in postseason play.

So if the Twins push all their chips to the center of the table this trade deadline and acquire some horses in the bullpen, I'm all-in on this team not just making the postseason, but being good enough to make a run at their first World Series appearance since 1991. 

In the meantime, enjoy what we have because this is the most fun start to a Twins season in recent memory.

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