Last season the Twins eclipsed even the Yankees as the representation of the new slugging teams in the MLB. They hit a record 307 homers and scored 939 runs, with Nelson Cruz (41 HRs) leading a cast of 17 players that slugged at least one dinger. Mitch Garver also posted the highest slugging percentage (.630) in franchise history for a catcher and hit 30 of his 31 homers when he was behind the dish.
The Twins pitching staff was also stellar and their bullpen finished 10th with a 4.17 ERA. Their biggest weakness might have been a subpar infield defense, which is now stronger with stud 3B Josh Donaldson signed to a hefty contract. The Twins are expected to use LHP Taylor Rogers as their closer, and they have plenty of situational options with veterans Sergio Romo and Tyler Clippard available – along with promising young gun Randy Dobnak.
Note that the Twins went an incredible 55-26 on the road last season, which bodes well for how they will play in empty stadiums. They went 50-26 against AL Central foes as well.
The Twins are the fifth favorite to win the 2020 World Series, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. They’re listed with +1600 odds at that book, trailing the Dodgers (+375), Yankees (+400), Astros (+650), and Braves (+1200). That means a $20 bet on the Twins to win the World Series would profit $320 if successful.
The Twins are tied with the Rays with +800 odds to win the American League, trailing only the Yankees (+175) and Astros (+350) at DK Sportsbook. Oddsmakers seem to think it will be easier for teams to get out of the AL and the AL Central is the arguably the easiest division in that league, so the Twins have a clear path to a potential pennant. Minnesota has been given -130 odds to win the AL Central with the Indians (+265) and White Sox (+285) expected to challenge them.
The Twins are projected to win 34.5 games during this 60-game season, with -143 odds on the Over and +115 odds on the Under at DK. That indicates how oddsmakers believe the AL Central is soft and therefore assumes that Minnesota can win close to 35 or more games with 40 of their 60 games in division.
Despite all their success last season, the Twins don’t have a primary MVP contender returning. Donaldson (+2000), though, is being given the best odds to win some hardware with Jorge Polanco (+8000) well behind at DK.
The Twins were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with four players having tested positive in 1B Miguel Sano, INF Nick Gordon, INF/C Willians Astudillo and RHP Edwar Colina. Sano has been cleared to return to the team.
Twins odds: Futures
Minnesota Twins betting breakdown
2019 Record: 101-61
Key losses: C Jason Castro, RP Kyle Gibson, 1B C.J. Cron, RP Ryne Harper, LP Martin Perez, 2B Jonathan Schoop, IF Ronald Torreyes, RP Juan Minaya, RP Brusdar Graterol
Key additions: 3B Josh Donaldson, RP Kenta Maeda, RP Homer Bailey, RP Jhoulys Chacin, RP Tyler Clippard, LP Rich Hill, RP Cory Gearrin, C Alex Avila,
1. SS Jorge Polanco (S)
2. 3B Josh Donaldson (R)
3. DH Nelson Cruz (R)
4. RF Max Kepler (L)
5. 1B Miguel Sano (R)
6. LF Eddie Rosario (L)
7. C Mitch Garver (R)
8. 2B Luis Arraez (L)
9. CF Byron Buxton (R)
Projected rotation: RP Jose Berrios, RP Jake Odorizzi, RP Kenta Maeda, RP Homer Bailey, RP Jhoulys Chacin
Projected closer: LP Taylor Rogers
Bullpen strengths: Sergio Romo comes back after posting a 3.18 ERA in 27 Games with 27 SO in 22.2 IP in 2019. He will be relied on along with fellow veteran Tyler Clippard to lead the youngsters. Clippard posted a 2.90 ERA in 53 games with the Indians last season. The right-hander had 64 SO, 15 BB, 38 HA in 62.0 IP.
Bullpen weaknesses: There are a lot of young arms in the Twins’ pen. Randy Dobnak posted a 1.59 ERA in 2019 but only appeared in nine games. One scouting report says Trevor May often gets ahead in counts and then gets crushed when switching to off-speed later in at bats (Athlon Sports). Zack Littel is another younger arm who has appeared in 37 games in two seasons and may be relied on more as a multiple-inning option.
Key stats from 2019
- Catcher Mitch Garver led the Majors by hitting 30 of his 31 home runs as a catcher. Garver posted a .630 slugging percentage which was the highest for any catcher in Twins history.
- Twins hit an all-time record 307 home runs in the regular season in 2019. 17 different players hit homers. Nelson Cruz led the way with 41. Five players topped 30, eight hit at least 20, and 11 reached double-digits.
- 2B Luis Arraez led the team with a .334 BA in 2019.
- SS Jorge Polanco appeared in team-high 153 games.
- According to Statcast, 3B Josh DOnaldson was 8 outs above average in 2019. (3rd in MLB among third baseman).
- The Twins were -14 OOA as an infield in 2019.