The Minnesota Twins are 2-0 in postseason play thus far and are traveling to Houston for a five-game series with the Astros in the ALDS. Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming.
My dad took me to my first Twins game when I was two years old in 2003 at the Metrodome, just a year after the Twins beat the Oakland A’s in the ALDS in 2002. I haven’t gone a year without going to a game (minus the COVID season) since, and to see it come to fruition has been nothing short of special.
But now, we might just have a legit baseball team on our hands. Now the real test begins as the Twins take on the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in a five-game series starting Saturday, Oct. 7. I don’t want to get too excited, but there is a real chance this run isn’t over quite yet.
This is by far the best starting five and bullpen the Twins have ever rolled out since at least the last World Series victory in 1991. The front office finally made moves in the offseason to acquire a true ace in Pablo Lopez, and Sonny Gray has shown all year that he can go deep into games and limit the damage from opposing hitters. We definitely need guys like Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, or possibly Kenta Maeda to step up this series against a really good Astros lineup, but our starting rotation has some absolute DAWGS.
The bullpen has had its ups and downs this year but they look like a unit that is playing its best baseball all at the same time. Griffin Jax has settled in after struggling in the second half of the year, Thielbar continues to be a magician getting out of jams, ‘BEEF STEW’ Brock Stewart is hucking filth, and Johan Duran is absolutely unhittable right now. Even if our starting pitching struggles in a game or two, I have total confidence that the bullpen can come in and get outs for this team.
Let’s be honest, the Twins’ offense didn’t turn any heads last series, but it definitely did just enough to be effective. The Blue Jays did have the pitching to make a deep run and they made it tough on our hitters, but it definitely isn’t getting any easier with Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, and a solid Astros bullpen staring us down for this next series.
Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa are obviously the leaders of this offense right now, but we need the back half of the lineup to produce when it matters. Guys like Ryan Jeffers and Matt Wallner who had unbelievable seasons looked invisible for most of the Toronto series, and if the Twins want to keep this rolling, they need guys like that to step up and deliver in big moments. It’s hard to believe the Twins’ pitching is going to keep putting up video game numbers, so it’s time for the offense to start firing on all cylinders.
Carlos Correa Revenge Series
What’s better than a revenge series?! Carlos Correa helped take the Astros to three World Series and led them to a World Series title in 2017. He is still getting booed at MLB stadiums because of the 2017 and 2018 cheating scandal he was a part of during his time with the Astros. If you don’t think this is a big deal to him, you are out of your fucking mind, and I expect fireworks from Correa in this series.
The Astros also won a World Series in 2022 immediately after Correa left to sign with the Twins, and I can guarantee that fires him up going into this series. The story has written itself at this point.
I am as much of a Minnesota homer as a Minnesota homer can get, but when I look at this series realistically, I think the Twins have a real chance to dominate in this series. They are getting hot at the right time, and they have an entire state that has been desperate for positive results for the last two decades. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.
I think the Twins win this series 3-1 in four games. They will lose the first game in Houston without Sonny Gray or Pablo Lopez ready to pitch, but will come back with a win on Sunday behind a dominant performance from Lopez. They will then travel back to Target Field and win both games at home behind a rocking crowd and cooler temperatures and continue on in the postseason.
Feel free to book those ALCS tickets.