Strange Days Indeed

It’s been a very weird 2020. The COVID pandemic forced Major League Baseball season to have a significantly shorter, 60-game, asterisk season. Some of that though was due to the players and owners not getting their (you-know-what) together and play at least an 80 or maybe a 100 game season. It was also weird because there were no fans in attendance, just cutouts, and fake crowd noise. And, you can add a little more weirdness with the postseason having an additional two teams from each conference making the playoffs.

Right Here, Right Now

When the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago Cubs this past Saturday they officially secured a playoff spot. It’s the second year in a row they have made it to the post-season and three out of the last four years.

With five games left of the season, the Twins are the #4 seed and they do have a small chance of winning the division. That’s what we know. What we don’t know is everything else. We don’t know what the Twins roster will completely look like. We don’t who they will be playing or when or even where.

Never Tell Me the Odds

What do the odds say is likely going to happen for the Twins? According to fangraph.com, the odds that the Twins actually catch the White Sox and win the division are 16%, and to finish in second is 80%. The Yankees are the 5th seed and currently in second place in their division as well. But the odds of them catching Tampa Bay are even worse than the Twins at a mere 0.1%.

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Here We Go Again

Yep, you’re shaking your head to, aren’t you? There is a very good chance that Minnesota will be playing New York – again. They should just change the name from the Yankees to the “Eliminators” since that’s what they have been doing for decades now. In fact, the Twins have beaten the Yankees in the playoffs only twice in the last 20 years.

The Futures So Bright

So let’s think optimistically (which is hard for us Minnesota fans to do) and say they get the Yankee monkey off their back and advance. What are the odds (as of right now) that the Minnesota Twins represent the American League and win the World Series? Actually, they’re not bad. Fangraph.com has it at 7.3%. There is only one AL team with a higher percentage than the Twins at 8.3% -- and yep, you guessed it -- the New York Eliminators, I mean Yankees. (side note: three teams from the NL are higher than both Twins and Yankees)

So, by historical standards, it’s not looking good for the Twins. But as I said in the beginning, it’s been a weird year. Maybe it can be a little weirder and allow the Twins to finally get past the Yankees.

(Percentages are based on the time this was written. They are continually adjusted based on the results of games. Check fangraph.com for up to date numbers)