The 2016 MLB season begins on Sunday, so the LT Profits Group are continuing to provide profiles for every team to help with your MLB picks. Today they look at the Minnesota Twins.
The 2016 MLB season is just about here as a brand new year begins with three games this coming Sunday, with the rest of the league starting play next Monday. So in an attempt to help with your MLB picks, we are continuing our profiles for all 30 MLB teams all week long in advance of opening day, as today we examine the Minnesota Twins, who finished in second place in the American League Central in 2015 at 83-79.
To begin, here is a summary of the Minnesota betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle Sports.
Minnesota Twins 2015 Betting Stats
Not much was expected from the Twins after they finished dead last in the American League Central two years ago at 70-92, leading to the firing of longtime manager Ron Gardenhire in favor of Paul Molitor. However, Minnesota surprised many by remaining in playoff contention until the latter stages of the season and the oddsmakers never did adjust, with the +20.29 units won by Twins’ supporters being the fourth most in baseball.
Up next, we take a look at the Twins’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 Minnesota Twins Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||4.30||12th|
Well, by looking at these statistics and rankings, it seems quite apparent why the oddsmakers never adequately adjusted for the unexpected Minnesota success last season as there was really no real rhyme or reason for it based on the mediocre-at-best peripheral numbers. Thus the Twins scored rather highly in the “luck” department, which unfortunately is not something that usually carries forward to the following season.
2016 Minnesota Twins World Series Futures
The Twins were very quiet during the off-season so the 2016 team should basically be the same team Minnesota put on the field last year. However, the early posted win total of only 77½ for this season following the 83-win year in 2015 should give you an idea of just how much oddsmakers feel the Twins overachieved, and frankly we cannot argue with their logic.
2016 Minnesota Twins Batting Forecast
There is good news and bad news on the offensive front. The good news is that after Brian Dozier, the second and third best WAR predictions according to the ZiPS projections belong to homegrown youngsters Byron Buxton and Miguel Santo, which bodes well for the future of the Twins The bad news is that Dozier (3.0), Sano (3.0) and Buxton (2.9) all project to about a 3.0 WAR, so if those are the top hitters, the offense as a whole should be very mediocre.
This is not to say that the likes of Eduardo Escobar, Joe Mauer, Byung-ho Park and Trevor Plouffe cannot exceed expectations, but as mentioned, it is usually difficult for teams to out-perform their peripheral numbers in consecutive seasons.
2016 Minnesota Twins Pitching Forecast
The Twins were 19th in the majors in ERA last season at just over 4.00, but what is interesting is that their starting pitchers combined for an ERA about 2% higher than their xFIP. Normally, numbers converge to the latter, except that 2015 marked the fifth straight season that the collective ERA of Minnesota starters exceeded the xFIP, which could be an indictment of pitching in Target Field.
For what it is worth, Phil Hughes (2.2) and Kyle Gibson (2.1) are predicted to be the top two starters this season based on projected WAR, but note how modest those projections are with both hurlers expected to allow more runs than their xFIP may indicate.