Minnesota Twins Shortened MLB Season Pick, Odds and Prediction

Minnesota Twins Shortened MLB Season Pick, Odds and Prediction Photo by Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins 2020 Shortened Season Preview

2020 MLB Season

Over/Under: 34.5 Wins -- Odds to win the World Series: +1600 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Minnesota Twins come into the shortened 2020 MLB season looking to take another step forward after a strong showing in 2019.

The Minnesota Twins enter the 2020 season fresh off of one of the better seasons in the Twin Cities in recent memory, as Minnesota finished 101-61 in Rocco Baldelli’s first year in charge as the Twins’ bench boss. Minnesota’s first 100-win season since 1965 gave the Twins their first AL Central crown since 2010 while also giving the Twins the New York Yankees in the ALDS. But you know the saying, old habits die hard, as the Twins were swept again in the ALDS, pushing their postseason losing streak to 16 games, having not won a postseason game since game one of the ALDS in 2004, ironically against the New York Yankees.

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Roster-wise, COVID-19 has hit Minnesota in a couple of areas, most notably with Miguel Sano testing positive for the virus, keeping him away from the team until further notice. The other virus-related question mark could be Byron Buxton, who just welcomed a second child into the world and whether or not he will want to or be able to take time away from his family or put himself at risk by playing the season. Otherwise, one of the best hitting lineups in the American League from last year remains in tact, led by the likes of Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Garver and Eddie Rosario, but the Twins made one of the bigger splashes in free agency by signing Josh Donaldson to a deal to bring him to the Twin Cities. As far as the starting rotation in concerned, Jose Berrios returns to his position as Minnesota’s staff ace, while Jake Odorizzi will be out to prove he’s worth the one-year qualifying deal that he signed in the offseason after going 15-7 last year in one of his best seasons in recent memory. The rest of the rotation is up for grabs between newly-acquired guys like Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey and Jhoulys Chacin, with Chacin likely being the odd man out.

As far as a schedule goes, it’s business as usual for the Twins against the rest of the AL Central, but interleague play will see the Twins take on a tough sltae of teams from the National League Central, with the likes of the Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers on the other side. The good news is that the Twins didn’t struggle mightily against anyone from the division last year. As a matter of fact the Twins boasted 14-5 records against the Royals and Tigers and a 13-6 mark against the White Sox. If numbers like that can carry into play against the Indians, the rest of the AL Central will have to watch out over the course of the season.

Odds/Prediction: The Twins provide some value amongst the top-tier of contenders for the World Series/AL Pennant at +1600 and +800 respectively, but for that to be of fvalue you have to be of the belief that the Twins will finally exorcise some of their postseason demons and get into the win column and I’m of the camp where I’ll believe it when I see it. That doesn’t do me any good for value now, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. As far as the win total goes, the total is set at 34.5 for the Twins this season and the problem with that number is that it seems almost dead on to me. With that said, there are a lot of question marks in the pitching rotation, and I just don’t know how those problems get solved or if they’ll have a positive effect on Minnesota’s record as the bats won’t always be able to bail out the Twins. The Indians are tough and the White Sox are as good as they’ve been in some time. Combine that with a rough interleague schedule, and I think you have to take a look at the under 34.5 wins here, but barely.

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Chris’s Pick Under 34.5 Wins

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.