2011 Twins Predictions

1 Apr

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.
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12 Responses to “2011 Twins Predictions”

  1. jack torse April 1, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    I’m with you on D Young. Anything in the zone he crushes and he’s begining to understand it. I could see him becoming their best offensive player right now. I’m flat out excited to see his season.

  2. Doug L. April 1, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    These are pretty bold predictions. If they all come through, the Twins will easily win the 93 games you projected and win the AL Central. I am not quite as optomistic as you especially on Casilla, Valencia and Blackburn but I hope you are right. Tonight I will be the only Twins fan at BW3 in Strongsville, Ohio watching on the little TV in the corner. The opening of the baseball season is always a glorious day.

  3. BB-STC April 1, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Can we make the Kyle Gibson debut June 19th instead? I have tickets to that game.

  4. George April 1, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Way too high on Casilla; maybe slightly on Valencia. I am thinking the Twins will need to move a SP to acquire a SS. No one in mind but I think Casilla will be that bad.

  5. adjacent April 1, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Regarding to SS, I hope Casilla plays well, but that is just a hope, not a prediction. More of a prediction, Nishi moves to SS and Hughes comes as a 2B

  6. Shane Wahl April 1, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Projections seem a bit too middling on some players, but very solid expectations. Better than other predictions I have seen.

  7. AW April 1, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Seth, I think Gardy’s ejections will be directly proportionate to the number of Twins games that Hunter Wendelstedt spends behind the plat.

    • AW April 1, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      plate, not plat.

  8. twinsfiend April 1, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    I like your optimism… thats a lot of things going right. I’m not sure that much will go right. I think Casilla will become this year’s Punto for bloggers… everyone will complain about his bat, but Gardy will be happy if he bats .250 as long as his defense at SS is slightly above average. I think thats doable for him so he will stick at SS.

    I predict that Gibson will be significant SP by mid-summer, and will start a playoff game with Duensing and Liriano as Baker, Blackburn, and Pavano are just OK.

    I think Mauer wins Batting title at bats about .345 and shatters the Twins doubles record, hits over 50!

  9. hoff April 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Span steals 30 bases or gets picked off 30 times?

  10. hoff April 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Will be watching the game with the only other 2 Twins fans in Champaign IL

  11. KC April 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    There is no way two teams from the putrid Central will make the playoffs.

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