Though the weather may disagree, we are now a few weeks into the 2018 baseball season. The last two seasons for the Twins have been a rollercoaster, to say the least.
The team went from 100-plus losses in 2016 to qualifying for playoffs in 2017– the first team in history to make such a drastic comeback.
So, what should we expect in 2018 from the Twins – and the rest of the MLB?
Sports writers are saying we’ll get a little more predictability from the Twins this season. They’re not a surprise contender – they’ve proved their worth, at least heading into the regular season. It’ll be up to them to stay there.
They’ve invested heavily in that reality, nabbing seven free agents (Zach Duke, Logan Morrison, Michael Pineda, Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, Anibal Sanchez) and one trade (Jake Odorizzi). With such a young, new roster, the dynamic is different.
“The vibes in here, the confidence and the mindset — I can say this might be the best team I’ve played on,” second baseman Brian Dozier told the Star Tribune last month.
The Milwaukee Brewers were also surprise contenders last season. The team just missed a wild-card spot. So in 2018, they’ll likely be trying to nab a playoff spot for real this time, which would be the first year since 2011.
The National League Central favorite is still Chicago. But the Brewers spent a considerable amount of money this off-season (nearly $150 million) to sign an array of free agents to the roster, and their already good offense has gotten even better.
The season just got started March 29, so there’s still plenty of time to see how the cards fall for the Brewers and the Twins.
As far as the rest of the MLB goes, though, one projection model is predicting we won’t see too much of a difference this season than last.
Prediction model Sportsline, which simulates the season several times over, says odds are we’ll see playoff games between the Astros (from the AL West) and the Red Sox (as AL East champs). It predicts the Cleveland Indians will claim the top seed in the American League for the second straight year.
Wild card could very well be Blue Jays at Yankees, two teams also showing promise this season.
In the National League, Sportsline predicts we’ll see Nationals (as NL East champs) at the Cubs (as NL Central champs) in a playoff game. The Dodgers, its pick as the top seed in the NL West, will go against the wild-card winner – likely the Brewers against the Cardinals, it says.
However, this is baseball, and there’s always room for an injury, trade or comeback kid to shake up the stats. Time will only tell what will happen this season, and it’ll be fun to watch it play out.
When you do (and you can’t make it to the ballpark), there’s no better place than Blue Line Sports Bar and Grill. We’ll keep the beer flowing, and the televisions on.