How the Twins perform during a brutally difficult schedule to start the second half could be the deciding factor in whether the Twins are buyers or sellers going into the July 31 trade deadline.
The next three home games against the Orioles are critical considering Minnesota faces the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers in three of four series' after next week's All-Star break. Those are among the best and most dangerous teams in baseball, with all three boasting a top four offense and a top six pitching staff.
Houston clobbered the Twins in a sweep at Target Field in late May, milking them for 40 runs in three games.
The Dodgers have won 23 of 27 dating back to June 7. And if Clayton Kershaw gets the start in their first game out of the break he'll be in line to pitch the series opener against the Twins, who would then likely face Alex Wood, a little known lefty who happens to be 10-0 with an NL-leading 1.67 ERA.
New York has lost 16 of 22 since starting the season 38-23, but they still roster an incredible lineup capable of mashing Minnesota's vulnerable pitching staff.
Tucked between the Yankees and Dodgers is a three-gamer at home against the Tigers, who've beaten the Twins in four of six this season.
It's easily the most daunting stretch of the season, but perhaps more importantly it could serve as a blessing in disguise to help Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine decide what to do before the deadline.