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Tough times for Twins

by Matt Smith

Just over two years ago, baseball fans in Minnesota were eyeing their glorious new ballpark, Target Field, and dreaming of a new era of Twins baseball. 

After years of measly payrolls and wrangling by the Twins’ ownership to get a new ballpark, including the threat of contraction, Target Field was meant to usher in a period of stability off the field and success on it as additional revenue streamed in. 

The ballpark may still achieve those aims in time, but the initial returns have not been so promising and that was made starkly clear to me when I looked at the standings on ESPN.com prior to Tuesday’s games.

After their first 35 games, the Twins are 10-25 (the worst record in baseball) and their ESPN playoff odds calculation sits at 0.8%. Think about that for a second. With just under 80% of their games still remaining to be played, Minnesota’s odds of reaching the playoffs are less than 1%.

Now, it’s still early in the season and there is plenty of time for the Twins to launch a winning run to boost their odds, but that’s a sobering statistic to ponder, particularly when there are no obvious signs that this is a team that is suddenly going to spring into life.

ESPN’s standings make for much better reading if you are a Texas Rangers fan. Their MLB-leading run differential of +78 is one clear piece of evidence to back up the general consensus that they are the best team in the Majors right now, even though the Dodgers have a slightly better record.

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