Series Preview: Minnesota Twins (35-42) at Chicago Cubs (44-35)

In Series Previews by berselius150 Comments

As much of a disaster as that last road trip was, coming away with a split and an overall season series win over the Dodgers despite all the roster setbacks still found a way to thaw my cold cynical heart. The bats finally broke out, and we’ll see if that continues or if things sputter yet again over the next two series against much lesser teams.

The Twins were a surprise playoff team last year, winning 85 games in a relatively lackluster AL. This year things aren’t quite so rosy – they are seven games under .500 in one of the worst divisions in recent baseball history. A big part of that has been the absence of Byron Buxton, who has only had 94 plate appearances this year due to a broken toe suffered while on a rehab stint for migrane issues back in April. They’ve also given 200+ PAs each to two more sub replacement level guys in Logan Morrison and Robbie Grossman, and free agent signing Lance Lynn has posted both a 4.81 ERA and 5+ BB/9 on the season. Their arguably best pitcher, Ervin Santana, is still coming back from surgery on his middle finger from an injury suffered in the spring. So when we complain about the Cubs it’s good to remember that it could be worse.

Team Leaders


  • OBP: Kris Bryant  (.383)
  • ISO: Javier Baez (.279)
  • HR: Baez (16)
  • R+RBI: Baez (103)
  • wRC+: Bryant (143)
  • BSR: Baez (3.7)
  • DRS: Addison Russell (12)
  • SP K/9: Yu Darvish (11.03)
  • SP BB/9: Mike Montgomery (2.27)
  • SP FIP: Monty (3.63)
  • RP K/9: Carl Edwards Jr (14.40)
  • RP BB/9: Anthony Bass (0.00)
  • RP FIP: Bass (1.46)
  • WAR: Bryant (2.3)


  • OBP: Joe Mauer (.365)
  • ISO: Eduardo Escobar (.263)
  • HR: Eddie Rosario (17)
  • R+RBI: Rosario (104)
  • wRC+: Rosario (146)
  • BSR: Rosario (3.7)
  • DRS: Rosario (6)
  • SP K/9: Jose Berrios (9.52)
  • SP BB/9: Berrios (1.75)
  • SP FIP: Berrios (3.25)
  • RP K/9: Ryan Pressly (13.38)
  • RP BB/9: Matt McGill (1.29)
  • RP FIP: Taylor Rogers (2.51)
  • WAR: Rosario (3.2)

Injuries, transactions, vengeance pacts, etc.

Kris Bryant is on the DL with shoulder soreness and will miss all of this series. Carl Edwards should be starting a rehab outing tomorrow/Friday, and Yu Darvish felt some more triceps pain after a bullpen session preceding the Dodgers finale so who knows when he will be back.

For the Twins, Byron Buxton has been on a rehab assignment for the past week or so after reinjuring his broken toe. He was rushed back to the bigs last time, they’re taking their time this time around. He could be back at some point this series. Ervin Santana and Michael Pineda are both working their way back from surgeries and will also not appear in this series.

Pitching Probables

ERA, FIP, xFIP, projected ERA listed for each pitcher

Friday: Jose Berrios, RHP (3.15, 3.25, 3.37, 3.85) vs Mike Montgomery, LHP (3.39, 3.89, 4.26, 4.07), 4:05 PM CT

Berrios was really good last year, and has been even better this year. Monty got off to a shaky start to the year but has been great since moving into the rotation. His strikeout rate is way down but he’s also issuing fewer free passes.

Saturday: Adalberto Mejia, LHP (4.59 projected ERA) vs Tyler Chatwood, RHP (3.95, 4.93, 5.31, 4.46), 1:20 PM CT

This is Mejia’s 2018 debut for the Twins, but he did make 21 forgettable starts last year for them.

Can Tyler Chatwood’s wife go into labor again this weekend?

Sunday: Lance Lynn, RHP (4.81, 4.14, 4.16, 4.08) vs Jon Lester, LHP (2.18. 4.06, 4.46, 3.73), 1:20 PM CT

Lynn has been a disaster sign so far for the Twins, though his numbers have improved over the past few weeks. Lester has been beating the crap out of his peripherals, hopefully he doesn’t stop now.


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  1. Rizzo the Rat

    The peripherals on the starting staff on the whole are just plain ugly. Hey, I heard Bosio just became available…

      Quote  Reply


  2. Rizzo the Rat

    Cubs position players, on the other hand, have been really, really good, with the odd exception of Anthony Rizzo.

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  3. Ryno

    Parents stop treating your kids like they’re your friends or spouse and tell them the TRUTH! Be brutally honest with them. Example, I told my kids Jack & Jill didn’t go up the hill to get a pale of water. They went to have sex & get high. Now they both in JAIL! #CoachPrime

    — Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) June 29, 2018

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  4. dmick89


    I expect that tweet will eventually be this:

    BREAKING: #Brewers are finalizing a deal to acquire Manny Machado.

    — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2018

      Quote  Reply


  5. Author

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    CF Almora
    RF Heyward
    2B Zobrist
    1B Rizzo
    SS Russell
    LF Schwarber
    3B Happ
    C Giminez
    P Montgomery

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  6. andcounting


    Yes, that. Giminez should be the emergency backup bullpen catcher. I do think Javy was the no-plane-crash-required emergency catcher at one point.

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  7. Author

    The way I see it, Giminez should be the emergency catcher.

    He’s already an emergency relief pitcher, let’s not heap too much on his shoulders.

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  8. North Side Pat

    Just came here to say that it’s hotter than the surface of the sun in aisle 433, and also SCHWARBER!

      Quote  Reply


  9. Author

    I’m looking forward to Chatwood grounding into a double play with the bases juiced in five minutes or so.

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