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Twins off to one of best 25-game starts in nearly 20 years

The 2001 Twins started 18-7 in their first 25 games.
Author:
Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario

With 16 wins and just nine losses, not only do the Twins lead the American League Central, but they also own the second best winning percentage (16-9, .640) in the majors, trailing only the Tampa Bay Rays (18-9, .667). 

In fact, 16 wins in the first 25 games is tied for the most any Twins team has had since the 2001 team started 18-7.

  • 2018: 9-16
  • 2017: 14-11
  • 2016: 7-18
  • 2015: 13-12
  • 2014: 12-13
  • 2013: 12-13
  • 2012: 7-18
  • 2011: 9-16
  • 2010: 16-9 (started 19-9)
  • 2009: 12-13
  • 2008: 11-14
  • 2007: 14-11
  • 2006: 9-16
  • 2005: 15-10
  • 2004: 15-10
  • 2003: 11-14
  • 2002: 14-11
  • 2001: 18-7 (started 57-33)

The 2001 Twins started 30-13 and reached a high point of 24 games over .500 on July 14 (57-33) before fading down the stretch and missing the playoffs. That memorable team was loaded with rising stars, including Torii Hunter, Doug Mientkiewicz, A.J. Pierzynski, Christian Guzman and many other fan favorites, among them David Ortiz who was released by the Twins (oops) in December 2002. 

The 2019 Twins aren't really comparable to the '01 club because this year's team is filled with some veteran leaders, including Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Schoop. That said, just like the '01 team, plenty of young players are coming into their own: Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton, among others. 

Another huge difference is that Rocco Baldelli is a first-year manager, whereas the 2001 Twins were led by two-time World Series champion Tom Kelly, who handed the reigns to Ron Gardenhire in 2002. 

Most impressive about this year's Twins is the power. Their 49 homers through 25 games is the most in franchise history, and they lead the majors with 47.1% of their hits going for extra bases. 

The only AL team with more homers than the Twins is Seattle, and their 59 homers have come in 31 games. Do a little math and you can see that the Twins are hitting more homers per game, 1.96 per game to 1.90. It's a microscopic difference, but impressive nonetheless. 

After dominating the putrid Baltimore Orioles for three games at Target Field this weekend, Minnesota gets another crack at the high-powered Houston Astros, who won two of three against the Twins in Houston last week. 

The four-game series begins Monday night, with ace Justin Verlander on the mound for the Astros and Jake Odorizzi in line to start for the Twins. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. 

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