USA Today projects Twins to repeat as AL Central champs

No word if the Twins are projected to win a playoff series for the first time since 2002.
Author:
Publish date:
Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario

The Minnesota Twins have been through their share of ups and downs this offseason, but it appears they've come out of it better prepared to contend in 2020. In their early predictions that were released on Monday, USA Today projects the Twins to repeat as American League Central champions.

The projection, which consisted of a six-writer panel, has the Twins winning 94 games, a seven victory drop from their 2019 season total and finishing comfortably above the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.

Providing the rationale for the panel's pick was the addition of Josh Donaldson, who USA Today stated could provide "an MVP presence" in the Minnesota lineup. Strangely enough, the article provided no complements about the starting rotation, which currently sits in flux as the reported blockbuster trade that would sent right-hander Kenta Maeda to Minnesota remains stalled. 

As much as fans would like to hear the early prognostication of another division title, the real goal for the Twins won't become attainable until October. The Twins have lost an MLB record 15 straight playoff games since defeating the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2003 ALDS and haven't won a playoff series since dispatching the Oakland Athletics in five games during the 2002 ALDS. 

The projection did not include predictions for the playoffs, which would have the Twins avoiding the New York Yankees, but matched up with the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

Can the Twins counter a rotation with Justin Verlander and Zack Grienke by trotting out Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, or perhaps Rich Hill, Michael Pineda, Jhoulys Chacin or Maeda? That remains to be seen, but with the season coming closer than you think, the thought of a return to the postseason might be enough to warm the souls of Twins fans...for now.

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.

ambulance

Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

Related

Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario

Twins climb to top spot in AL Central standings

The Twins leaped the White Sox thanks to a 7-6 win over the Tigers.

Josh Donaldson

Twins among AL's biggest spenders this offseason

The Twins ranked fourth in spending while adding quality talent to an 101-win team.

Rocco Baldelli

What could MLB's two-month delay mean for the Twins?

The season won't start until at least mid-May, which is good and bad news for the Twins.

Josh Donaldson

Why signing Josh Donaldson would salvage the Twins' offseason

He's not a pitcher, but he would help improve the Twins.

Rocco Baldelli

Twins squander chance to gain ground in AL Central

The Cubs shut out the Twins 1-0 on Friday night, leaving them three games back in the division.

Rocco Baldelli

It's time for the Twins to make a splash in the American League

The Twins are part of baseball's problem in avoiding the hot stove.

Madison Bumgarner

A Christmas wish list for the Minnesota Twins

Twins fans have been awfully nice this year, but will they get anything for it?

Hyun-Jin Ryu

What to watch for as the Twins enter the winter meetings

The biggest week of the offseason is here as the Twins head to San Diego.