50 games to go and the Twins' playoff chances are quickly rising

They were dead in the water two weeks ago, but now they're back in the race.

At only 4.5 games behind the Indians for first place in the American League Central, it's a bit surprising that nobody is talking about the Twins as a potential division champ. 

Will it be a shock to see the Twins in first place when the final 50 games of the regular season are said and done? Of course. But Cleveland and Kansas City have slumped since burying the Twins a bit when Minnesota struggled against the Dodgers and Athletics after the All-Star break. 

On Wednesday, the Indians traded with the Mets for Jay Bruce (.258, 29 HR, 75 RBI) to try and jumpstart an offense that's been a disappointment. Like Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes wrote, Edwin Encarnacion was supposed to be the big rig in the middle of the order but he's only had one good month. What's worse is that All-Star closer Andrew Miller is hurt and on the DL while right-handed bullpen power arms Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen are showing signs of wear and tear. 

Bruce is a nice addition but he's essentially a desperation addition to replace All-Star Michael Brantley, who hit the DL with a sprained ankle earlier this week. 

In Kansas City, Alex Gordon's awful season (.196, 5 HR, 34 RBI) has led to his benching, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is out another 2-3 weeks and the Royals have gone from the hottest team in baseball to a team that's lost eight of 10

Also helping the Twins is the fact that they have the second-easiest remaining schedule in the AL, according to MLB.com. Sadly, the Royals have a slightly easier schedule. 

Wild Card chances

It could get really interesting when the Twins open September with 10 straight games against the Royals (7 of the 10) and Rays – two of the teams the Twins are chasing for the second Wild Card.

There's more going in favor of the Twins, too. 

  • Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios start two of three games in Detroit this weekend.
  • Not scheduled to face Corey Kluber in Cleveland next week. 
  • Finish August with eight games against the last place White Sox and three games against the last place Blue Jays. 

The team to watch over the next 10 days is Seattle as they could wreak havoc in the hunt for the Wild Card with games against the Angels, Orioles and Rays. 

Ultimately, a 10-game road trip against the Yankees, Tigers and Indians in mid-September could spell the end of the Twins' hopes even if they're in the mix at that point. But the fact that they haven't fallen off the edge of the earth (shout out to you, Kyrie Irving), is a testament to their resiliency. 

Next Up

Flickr -  Bank Plaze Nov 2020 - Chad Davis

US Bank employees won't return to downtown Minneapolis office next month

The company, citing COVID's resurgence, has pushed back its office return plans.

Katie Storm Twitter Bally Sports North - Aug 4 2021

MN native Katie Storm returning home for role with Bally Sports North

The St. Cloud State grad had worked for Fox Sports North before leaving for Philadelphia.

Flickr - Wisconsin State Fair cream puff - USDA

Free cream puff for people who get vaccinated at the Wisconsin State Fair

Get a shot, then head over to Cream Puff Pavilion for a free treat.

theodore wirth trailhead

Minneapolis parks now requiring masks in all indoor spaces

Anyone going inside recreation centers, ice arenas, and indoor spaces at pools must put on a mask.

Eric Reinbold - Pennington County Sheriff Aug 4 2021

At-large murder suspect was caught after triggering trail camera

Authorities had been searching for Eric Reinbold for nearly a month.

Flickr - toxic algae bloom - MPCA Photos

Climate change is warming lakes, leading to more toxic algae blooms

The MPCA says blue-green algae blooms are occurring all across the state.

vaccine, covid

Minnesotans can now register to get $100 for getting the COVID-19 vaccine

It's available for those who get their first jab between July 30 and Aug. 15.

Phillip Miller

Benton County prosecutor charged with sexual assault of teenager

Phillip Miller has been charged with varying levels of sexual assault charges.

Pixabay - pistol holster handgun

Permit-to-carry law doesn't violate 2nd amendment, MN Supreme Court says

A man charged with carrying a pistol without a permit argued it was unconstitutional.


Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, August 4

The delta variant has been leading to higher case counts and hospitalizations in Minnesota.


Updating the Twins' playoff chances

Losing eight of 12 after the All-Star break puts the Twins in a tight situation.

Everything you need to know about tonight's Twins-Yankees playoff game

Brian Dozier: "Reach back a little bit and take your game to the next level."

25 games to go: What you need to know as the Twins' lead in the Wild Card shrinks

Six teams are within three games of the Twins with a little more than three weeks to play.

10 games to go: Twins still sitting pretty in Wild Card race

Don't panic. All the pressure is on the Angels to catch the Twins.

This week is the Twins' last best chance to pile up wins in the Wild Card race

At this point, it's a day-by-day and week-by-week look at the standings.

Playing .500 over final 32 games should put the Twins in the playoffs, the computers say

Can the Twins go 16-16 or better over the final 32 games of the season?

Target Field

Ticket strips to all possible Twins playoff games go on sale

Ticket strips include a possible 12 home games at Target Field.

White Sox beat Angels, Twins are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2010

Nick Delmonico's walk-off 2-run homer in the 10th put the Twins in the playoffs.