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Series Preview: The supposedly-a-playoff-contender Twins!

The Minnesota Twins being a playoff team last rattled me to the core. It was difficult to watch a team as bad as the Twins manage to make the second wild card spot when I felt the Blue Jays, had not just about every single possible thing went wrong, could have been in that position. Let’s ensure that doesn’t happen again, please.

Monday at 8:10 ET

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The Twins inked Lance Lynn to a one-year deal right before the start of the season as he was one of those players left in purgatory due to the weird free agent market. In the first month of his Twins career, Lynn has been bad. He’s made four starts, two were terrible and two were okay, and he’s sporting a 7.71 ERA and is walking an obscene 8.7 batters per nine. He’s handing out walks like fucking Halloween candy. Aaron Sanchez is also having a difficult time with the walks but he’s been able to navigate it much, much better than Lynn has. Sanchez had a 3.69 ERA for the season and has put up a quality start in each of his past four outings.

Tuesday at 8:10 ET

Kyle Gibson is coming off of his best start of the season in which he dominated the Yankees to the tune of one hit and 10 strikeouts over six scoreless innings. Gibson has been kind of up and down this year otherwise, though. He had a six inning shutout to open the season and then had back-to-back starts in which he failed to clear five innings. Marco Estrada, who’s struggling through back soreness, will go for the Jays. Estrada had two good starts to open the year, but has struggled in his last three outings.

Wednesday at 1:10 ET

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Speaking of struggles, Marcus Stroman has had a rooooouuuuuuugh start to 2018 to say the least. He’s winless through five starts and doesn’t have a quality start yet. Stroman owns a 8.88 ERA, is walking 5.3 guys per nine, and hasn’t routinely been able to get that big ground ball double play to get himself out of jams like we’ve seen in the past. The big thing, obviously, is the command issues, which sort of just came out of nowhere. I mean, we should obviously be patient with Stroman given his pedigree and the fact that he pitched like six innings in spring training. He’ll be opposed by another dude who’s struggling in Phil Hughes. Hughes is a guy the Jays routinely knock around largely because he’s pretty bad and everyone knocks him around. He’s made just two starts this year and hasn’t cleared the fourth inning in either of them.

Thoughts…

I’ll pick up where I left off at the beginning.

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When it came to Minnesota being a wild card team in 2017, it was less of “the Twins made the playoffs!” and more of a “the Twins weren’t one of the team who missed the playoffs!” kinda deal because it seemed like just about everyone in the American League was just like “nah” last year.

Anyways, the Twins predictably got spanked in the wild card game by the much-better Yankees. Still, they were pencilled in, along with Toronto, Seattle, Anaheim, and so on as a wild card contender again this year in what will be a tight playoff race. The Jays need to beat Minnesota even more so than New York and Boston because of that wild card race.

Minnesota is 9-14 for the season. Their starting pitching is mediocre, their bullpen is bad, Fernando Rodney is their closer for some reason, their offence is dead-last in baseball in terms of scoring runs, and Byron Buxton is currently on the disabled list. I said this before the Texas series and it’s relevant again — the Jays need to capitalize on these struggling, bad opponents. They’re going to lose a handful of games to New York and Boston this year and they need to make up that ground against teams like Minnesota.

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  • Missileman

    So how many more shitty Stroman starts will it take before the short spring training rationalization stops? His arm needs to soon get to the same level of performance as his mouth or the thin margin of error for a 2nd wild card spot goes away.

    • abigditka

      This has to be sarcasm right? Imagine trashing the club best starter from a year ago because of poor April. Of which 2 of 5 starts are against one of MLB’s scariest lineups.

      • Missileman

        No sarcasm intended – facts are facts. How many poor quality starts before the spring training excuse goes away? He needs to become the guy from last year you mentioned for this team to have a realistic shot at the playoffs. Lastly if your gonna talk be expected to be called on it when you don’t live up to your words. I know it’s only April and I expect he will return to form, but so far my points are valid.

        • DAKINS

          ” I know it’s only April and I expect he will return to form, but so far my points are valid.”

          The first part of this sentence invalidates the last part of it.

          People need to stop trying so hard to dislike Stroman, it’s getting old.