September 23, 2021

The Twins Crushed Their Enemies…Until October (FanGraphs)

The Twins gave their fans at Target Field plenty to cheer for. Until October, that is. (Photo: Doug Dibble)

“If you don’t take an opponent serious, they surprise you.” – Canelo Alvarez

Coming into the 2019 season, the Cleveland Indians did not take the threat posed by the other teams in the AL Central very seriously. The Minnesota Twins made them regret it. With the most home runs in baseball history, the Twins sent Cleveland reeling and won 100 games for the first time since 1965. While the Twins benefited from baseballs being designed in a perfect, Flubber-y way for their lineup, every good success comes sprinkled with a dash of good fortune.

The Setup

Surprise is nothing new for the Twins. The 2017 team, still in the middle of its rebuild, shocked the American League by winning 85 games a year after going 59-103. That 26-game surge wasn’t caused by making dollars rain in free agency, but instead was mostly the work of the players the Twins already had. They even shocked themselves, and after losing six of seven games to enter the trade deadline below .500, they were sellers rather than buyers. Gone were the team’s closer, Brandon Kintzler, and…

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