Minnesota Twins 2015 Season Preview
Odds To Win Division: +1800
Odds To Win AL Pennant: 50/1
Odds To Win World Series: 100/1
Regular Season Win Total: 70.5
Most Significant Offseason Changes
Torii Hunter, RF
Ervin Santana SP
Tim Stauffer, RP
Jason Kubel, LF
Jared Burton, RP
Chris Parmelee, LF
They’ll Be Successful If…
The team’s offense performed better than their record indicated in 2014, and they will need to over perform in 2015 for any sort of success. Torii Hunter returning to the Twins will provide the team with mentorship. After finishing the 2014 season last in the American League Central, and second last in the American League, the Twins were good at a handful of offensive categories. The Twins ranked second in the Majors with 316 doubles, second in walks with 544 and 7th runs per game with 4.41. If the offense can replicate these numbers in 2015 and improve their team batting average and home run total, they should be able to surpass their over/under win total of 70.5. The Twins had the 9th youngest lineup in the Majors in 2014, and with their youth, improvement is probable. Torii Hunter makes his triumph return to the Twins this season, and though he is not the defender he use to be (9 straight Gold Glove Awards from 2001- 2009), his bat and leadership will be appreciated. Torii Hunter has produced at least 80 RBIs in 12 of the past 14 seasons, and hasn’t hit less than 20 doubles since 2000. A potential Hall of Fame player, the Twins fans will be happy to see him home.
They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…
The pitching staff was one of the worst in the MLB in 2014. The Twins ERA ranked second last in the Majors in 2014 (at 4.80), ahead of only Colorado, which has its ERA inflated due to the ballpark’s altitude. Ervin Santana is a quality pitcher, but is now on his fourth different team in as many years, which certainly will draw some ire’s from some people in the MLB. Outside of Santana and Phil Hughes, who had a respectable 3.52 ERA and won 16 games, while posting a record-setting 11.63 Strikeouts per walk in 2014, the pitching staff is horrendous. The pitching staff, unlike the lineup, is one of the oldest in the league, and is full of career spot check starters. Even if Hughes and Santana have 15+ win seasons, do not expect much else from the remaining starts, or the bullpen to boot.
Fantasy Bargain: Trevor Plouffe, 3B
After having 40 doubles and 80 RBIs in 2015, Plouffe has enter the 2015 as low man on the totem poles in terms of fantasy third basemen. As the team does not have much depth and excels at hitting the double, Plouffe should see his plate appearances climb over 600 in the 2015 season. With the extra appearances and an average which should crack .260 in 2015, look for Plouffe to once again hit 40 doubles and possibly crack the 20 home run plateau.
There is little optimism in the Twin Cities about their baseball team’s performance in 2015, and with a the much maligned pitching staff, there shouldn’t be. If the offense exceeds expectations and the pitching rotation can perform around league average, the Twins should be better than predict, though not by much.
Prediction: 5th In AL Central
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