also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -
Thursday was officially Opening Day, and I have to admit, it was a strange day for me. First, it was on a Thursday for the first time. I had enough troubles with ESPN getting a Sunday night season opener, after Opening Day had always just been a Monday thing. MLB decided to start the season three or four days earlier in an attempt to keep the World Series out of November. Second, the Twins didn’t play on Opening Day. Only 12 teams did. So, I guess all I can say is:
Happy Minnesota Twins Opening Day to you!
Predictions are always fun because at the end of the year, I can pick and choose which ones I will remind you that I made. Or, if they’re that far off, I can forget to remind you about my picks and hopefully you won’t remind me too often. Below are some predictions, some more bold than others, for the 2011 Minnesota Twins season with some other predictions randomly thrown in.
2011 MINNESOTA TWINS PROJECTIONS
- Matt Capps will record twice as many saves as Joe Nathan.
- Joe Mauer will hit less than .320, but he will hit more than 40 doubles and more than 16 home runs. He will win his fourth straight, and fifth total, Silver Slugger Award.
- Justin Morneau will post an OPS of just over .880.
- Delmon Young will:
- Hit over .300.
- Hit more than 28 home runs
- Drive in more than 120 runs
- Post an OPS of less than .900.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka will post an OPS of over .720 and steal more than 25 bases. He will also deserve to win the AL Gold Glove, but he won’t because Robinson Cano is a really good hitter.
- Alexi Casilla’s OPS will be within .030 of JJ Hardy’s. He will also be within 2.0 UZR of the former Twins shortstop.
- The date that I will stop watching the Twins on FSN with the volume on will be April 6th.
- Denard Span will post an OBP over .370. He will steal more than 30 bases.
- Michael Cuddyer will lead the Twins with more than 40 doubles. He will also top 20 home runs.
- Danny Valencia will post an OPS greater than .820 with more than 32 doubles and more than 15 home runs.
- Jim Thome will NOT post an OPS of over 1.000 again in 2011. In fact, he won’t post a .900 OPS. He will hit less than 15 home runs but more than the 11 home runs he needs to reach career home runs number 600.
- Let’s go on a limb and say that he will his Home Run #600 on August 24th at Target Field in the 2nd inning off of Jake Arrieta.
- Carl Pavano will throw 200 innings, but his ERA will be over 4.40.
- Francisco Liriano will throw less than 190 innings with an ERA over 3.50 and a K-rate less than 8.5 per nine innings.
- Brian Duensing will throw 175+ innings with an ERA of under 4.25.
- Nick Blackburn will throw more than 210 innings with an ERA just under 4.00.
- Scott Baker will throw 190+ innings with an ERA under 4.20.
- Kevin Slowey will not make a start for the Twins in 2011, and he will average more than a strikeout per inning
- I will be wrong about one of the five starters pitching well, Kyle Gibson will make his Twins debut on June 18 at Target Field against the Padres.
- Joe Mauer and Delmon Young will represent the Twins at the All-Star game.
- The Twins will open their 2011 home schedule with a 3-4 record, including a split against the Yankees at Yankees Stadium.
- Ron Gardenhire will be ejected eight times in 2011.
- No Twins hitter will top 30 home runs, however, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young will come close, while Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel will hit over 22 each.
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS (Projected)
Minnesota Twins 93-69
Chicago White Sox 91-71
Detroit Tigers 80-82
Cleveland Indians 72-90
Kansas City Royals 63-99
AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYOFF TEAMS
AL Central – Minnesota Twins (2)
AL East – Boston Red Sox (1)
AL West – Oakland A’s (3)
Wild Card – Chicago White Sox (4)
ALDS: Boston over Chicago in 4 games, Oakland over Minnesota (in 5 games, the A’s rotation contains lefties Gio Gonzalez, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden, and the bullpen has Brian Fuentes, Craig Breslow and Bobby Cramer. The Twins have not addressed their need for a right-handed bat. Unless they do, it could be another one and done.)
ALCS – Boston over Oakland in 5 games.
NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFF TEAMS
NL Central – Milwaukee Brewers (3)
NL East – Atlanta Braves (2)
NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
NL East – Philadelphia Phillies
NLDS: Braves over Brewers in 4 games. Phillies over Dodgers in 4 games.
NLCS: Braves over Phillies in 7 games.
WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS
Braves over Red Sox in 6 games.
What are your predictions for the 2011 season, for the Twins or the league. If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to comment or ask.
- TWINS MINOR LEAGUE WEEKLY PODCAST LAST NIGHTNIGHT – If you are interested in the Twins minor league system, check out Twins Minor League Weekly podcast from last night. Travis Aune and I will host the 10:00 p.m. podcast each Thursday throughout the season. Last night, we discussed the projected rosters and picks to click for the Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rockcats. We started talking about the Ft. Myers Miracle when the 45 minute podcast abruptly came to an end. Next Thursday, we’ll discuss minor league opening night and continue to look at the Miracle and Snappers rosters.