Although faint, Twins still have a pulse in the wild-card race

The Twins' playoff chances currently stand at a paltry 7%, according to Five Thirty Eight.

The Twins' playoff chances are only slightly higher than Shaquille O'Neal's career 3-point shooting percentage. That ain't good considering Shaq made just 4.5% of his 3-point attempts (1-for-22 in his career). 

The Twins' playoff chances currently stand at a paltry 7%, according to Five Thirty Eight.

That's a rather grim outlook considering Minnesota is only 3.5 games behind the Royals for the last wild card in the American League. The problem, however, is that the Twins are chasing more than the Royals. They're also behind the Rays, Orioles, Mariners and Angels, 

Minnesota will have a chance to make some noise in September as long as they play better than they have in 21 games (8 wins, 13 losses) since the All-Star break. 

The next 24 games, all in August, are against the Brewers, Tigers, Indians, Diamondbacks, White Sox and Blue Jays. Then the Twins begin September with 10 consecutive games against the Royals and Rays to begin September. 

"Everybody in that clubhouse has the mindset that we're going to do something great, we're going to shock a lot of people," said Brian Dozier after Friday's win over the Rangers. "No white flags in that clubhouse, I can guarantee that." 

Kansas City won nine straight in late July only to follow that up with six losses in their last nine games. But they could get hot again with their next 10 games against the lowly Cardinals, White Sox and Athletics. If they do, that could be the writing on the wall for the Twins. 

Tampa Bay is about to face a tough stretch against the Red Sox, Indians, Blue Jays and Mariners. 

Baltimore is starting a 10-game road trip against the Angels, Athletics and Mariners. 

It'll take a fantastic finish and some floundering from teams ahead of them, but this should serve as a little bit of hope for the diehard faithful still believing in the Twins. 

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