Jul 032011

The first half of the Minnesota Twins baseball season ended with a blown save by Matt Capps and another loss for a 35 – 46 record. Easy math tells us a repeat of the first half would result in a 70 win season and a long off-season. The expectations of the fans are much higher. This is a ball club loaded with talent from long established Twins such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan to more recent additions like pitcher Carl Pavano, infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and up and coming outfielder Ben Revere. But it’s going to take the entire roster to rack up the wins necessary to take the division and the ability to win consistently to then go on to win a playoff series instead of another disappointing one and done. Fortunately the Twins have in the past been a strong performing second half team under manager Ron Gardenhire and the American League Central is primed for an epic stretch run the likes of which has never been seen before. Take a look at the standings:

American League Central on July 3, 2011

With the exception of the Twins and Royals it’s a logjam at the top and we’ve seen as recently as June the kind of tear the Twins are capable of ripping off. Don’t be surprised if at least 4 teams are contending for the division crown down the stretch. The Indians, Tigers and White Sox have solid rosters featuring sluggers such as Miguel Cabrera for Detroit and Paul Konerko for the Sox. Cleveland on the other hand is assembled more like the Twins with less emphasis on the big bat and more on getting quality starts out of pitchers such as Josh Tomlin and Carlos Carrasco. All in all it makes the American League Central worth watching the second half of 2011.

The Twins play the Brewers at Target Field today 2:10 pm Eastern. Pitching for Milwaukee is Zack Greinke. Nick Blackburn is on the mound for Minnesota.

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