Minnesota Twins Host Boston Red Sox in Weekend Series

Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Red Sox will serve as a barometer for the Minnesota Twins in a weekend series – just how good ARE these Twins?

Good news for Minnesota’s hot start is that the majority of it has been against fellow A.L. Central Division foes. The more they win, the more their closest competition loses.

With the Chicago White Sox winning and Cleveland being rained out, the Twins’ loss on Thursday against the Oakland A’s sets them one half game back in the standings going into this weekend’s games.

Flash back to a season ago, the Twins were mired at 8-20, 11 games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox, who, along with their North Side brethren the Cubs, had the top records in both leagues at this time a year ago.

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But a seven game improvement for the Twins has been a shot in the arm for the young club. A year ago, they had only won two series, and had already suffered through one losing streak of nine games.

Added to that, they were again stuck in the middle of another eight-game skid. The season was lost just six weeks in.

While they’ve had some disappointing finishes to series this year, the fact they are winning series (five) and avoiding long losing streaks (longest is four) is the key to a good finish in the standings come season’s end.

Now, they begin a 12-game stretch against teams that were either thought to be contenders for the A.L. pennant (Boston, Cleveland) or currently leading their team’s division (Cleveland, Chicago, Colorado).

Throw in Baltimore and the owners of the best record in the American League, the Houston Astros, before month’s end – and we will know soon enough if the Twins are pretenders or contenders in 2017.

Friday Night Game

Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs Phil Hughes (4-1, 5.06 ERA)

7:10 PM Target Field

TV: Fox Sports North / MLB Network

Saturday Day Game

 Rick Porcello (1-4, 4.46 ERA) vs Nick Tepesch (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

1:10 PM Target Field

TV: Fox Sports North / MLB Network

Sunday Day Game

Chris Sale (2-2, 1.38 ERA) vs Ervin Santana (5.0, 0.66 ERA)

1:10 PM Target Field

TV: Fox Sports North