The Twins are basically guaranteed to be playing playoff baseball this season, and that will likely start in the divisional round. With players seemingly dropping like flies including the ever consistent Michael Pineda, do the Twins have the players to make a postseason run? It may all depend on the success of Jose Berrios.
The Twins and their fans have enjoyed one of the best seasons in team history and everyone knows it has largely been due to the historically good lineup. The lineup will be the Twins greatest weapon when October comes, and the Twins really will just be asking for a quality start from their pitchers in order to get a win. The problem with that theory which shouldn’t be that difficult, is that it has not been easy for the starting pitchers to go six innings lately.
I’m sure you’ve heard everything there is to hear about how the Twins rotation has struggled, but there hasn’t really been much to worry about until the Pineda suspension was announced. With Pineda done for the year, the Twins are down to one consistent starter in Jake Odorizzi. If the Twins enter a playoff series against Houston or New York, having only one starting pitcher who can get the job done isn’t ideal. That is why I believe moving on to the second round of the playoffs relies heavily on how Jose Berrios performs.
Of course the MLB playoffs are always extremely random. No one team has won consecutive World Series titles since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000 and that is why the baseball playoffs are more fun than watching the Warriors or Patriots win it every year in those other weird sports. Even with the random outcomes that will happen, I don’t like the Twins chances with Jake Odorizzi as their best pitcher.
The Twins will need the first half Jose Berrios who posted a 3.00 ERA, 4.50 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP and .671 OPS to come back around to finish off the division and take on James Paxton, Gerrit Cole or Justin Verlander and match them pitch for pitch. If they get the second half version with his 5.37 ERA and .807 OPS against the Yankees or Astros then it might not be so fun to watch.
Luckily there has been good news in his most recent starts regarding the velocity that seemingly disappeared on his fastball in August. It has gone back up to a 93.5 MPH average which is just a tick above his best month this season. In June when his velocity was this high, he posted an elite 2.06 ERA and earned himself a trip to the All-Star Game.
Hopefully Berrios is working his way back to being the ace we all know and love because the playoff outlook completely changes if we get All-Star Berrios in game one. With a first place team surrounded by the negativity of the season-ending injury to Buxton, the Pineda suspension, and a flurry of other injuries, we hope Berrios can bring positive vibes back to Twins Territory.
This story originally appeared at Twins Daily and was shared on Bring Me The News as part of an affiliate network.