2019 MLB Power Rankings: Postseason Edition

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates after throwing a no hitter at the end of the ninth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates after throwing a no hitter at the end of the ninth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 06: Nelson Cruz #23 and Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins are presented an award for setting the MLB single season home run record prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians on September 6, 2019 at the Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 6-2. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 06: Nelson Cruz #23 and Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins are presented an award for setting the MLB single season home run record prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians on September 6, 2019 at the Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 6-2. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

MLB Power Rankings: Playoff Edition

5. Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins have powered themselves to the AL Central title for the first time since 2010. In the first year under manager Rocco Baldelli, the Twins have bulldozed opponents offensively en route to their division crown.

After earning a Wild Card spot in 2017, the Twins failed to reach the postseason in 2018, finishing with a disappointing 78-84 record. This prompted the firing of manager Paul Molitor, who failed to build upon his previous success with a young, exciting core.

However, the Twins turned everything around in 2019. Right out of the gates, the young Twins proved they could hit. Jorge Polanco was an early MVP Candidate, putting his PED suspension behind him and proving he can be the elite shortstop he has the tools to be. In the first half, Polanco hit .312 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs and earned the start in the All Star game.

Other young stars have taken their talents to the next level as well. Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, and Mitch Garver all slugged over 30 home runs. To go along with the youngsters, the veterans have produced as well. Offseason acquisition Nelson Cruz has been an unstoppable force in the middle of the lineup. He is arguably having his best season at the age of 39. He has slashed .305/.389/.630 with 40 home runs and 106 RBIs. Other offseason additions like C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, and Marwin Gonzalez have strengthened an already strong offense.

While all the attention has gone to the Twins’ offense, their bullpen has quietly been among the best in the league. They have the 4th lowest bullpen ERA, and many unknown pieces who have made large contributions. Trevor May, Zack Littell and Tyler Duffey have been outstanding, and Taylor Rodgers has been dominant as of late. While the Twins’ closer has dealt with his fair share of struggles, he has converted 13 straight save opportunities. Finally, having an experienced veteran like Sergio Romo as an option can help any team in October.

Starting pitching will be the biggest question mark for the Twins in the postseason. Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi will take Game 1 and Game 2, but the suspension of Michael Pineda creates a lot of uncertainty about the depth of their playoff rotation. Kyle Gibson will likely be their third starter, with Martín Perez next in line. If their starters can find some postseason magic, the Twins are a legitimate World Series contender.

Regardless of what happens in October, this season has been historic for the Twins. On September 1st, the Twins shattered the All-time, single-season home run record with their 268th long ball. Since then, they haven’t slowed down. On September 25th, they became the first team ever to surpass 300 home runs in a season. However, the Yankees are breathing down their back for that record. They are only a few home runs back, and look to spoil their pursuit of history. To sweeten the pot, it appears like the Yankees and Twins are going to meet in the ALDS. If you are a fan of home runs, get your popcorn ready.