Perhaps the best single metric to predict how many games a team is going to win is their runs scored runs allowed differential.
Twins: runs scored 815 runs allowed 788
Indians: runs scored 818 runs allowed 564
Of course the big difference in runs allowed is mostly due to the Twins 2017 rotation of Santana, Berrios, Poo Poo 1, Poo Poo 2, Poo Poo 3. This year things start different.
I don’t know much about the defensive abilities of the Indians starting position players, but the fastest team in baseball bows it’s head to no one. The Twins have plus defense at the outfield corners and plus plus defense in center. Mauer should have won a gold glove provides plus defense at first, Did win a gold glove Dozier provides plus defense at second. According to his DWAR Polanco turned in plus defense at short as did Castro at catcher.
Last year the Twins scored 815 runs, the Indians 818, but bear in mind that the Twins scored more runs than any team in the American League in the second half of the season. They also added to the lineup a good power hitting DH – 1st baseman in Logan Morrison.
2017 ERA’s for the Indians projected 2018 rotation
C Kluber 2.25
C Carrasco 3.29
T Bauer 4.19
D Salazar 4.28
J Tomlin 4.98
2017 ERA’s for the Twins projected 2018 rotation
E Santana 3.28
L Lynn 3.43
J Berrios 3.89
J Odorizzo 4.14
K Gibson 5.07 Second half 3.76
The Indian starters ERA average is 3.798. The Twins is 3.926. If Gibson’s second half ERA is used instead of his season one that comes down to 3.7.
The Indians have an elite ace, a very nice # 2 starter, a serviceable #3, and average #s 4 and 5. The Twins do not have an elite ace (unless Berrios blossoms) but do basically have five 2 – 3 ish starters. Which is better? I’m guessing that the bullpen coach would take the latter.
The Indians definitely have the advantage here, but the Twins have closed the gap. Basically they added Rodney, Duke and Addison while losing nobody except Kinsler at the trade deadline.
Last year the Twins sold at the trade deadline. What happens this year if they buy?
VVVRRROOM VVRRROOOM!!! We got us a race in the AL Central