We move our mid season MLB review to the American League Central, and we start with the Minnesota Twins who have spent 77 days in first place, have an 45-39 record. The two stats we need to pay attention to are their 12-15 record in June, and their 8-10 record in interleague play. It seems that those two stats are the reason this team finds itself in third place percentage points behind the Chicago White Sox, and 1.5 games behind the division leading Detroit Tigers.
This is a very good baseball team, which has some of its offense sapped out of playing in a new ball park. They have scored 389 runs, but have hit just 73 home runs which is 7th among the 14 American League clubs. As a team they are hitting .272 which ranks them fifth in the AL. They have 769 hits, and have 165 doubles, and 19 triple to go along with the 73 round trippers. They have stolen just 34 bases which ranks the 12th in the AL, but that is not really their game. They are a power baseball team, who can dominate folks from the offensive side of the ball.
That is not to say their pitching is bad. They have a staff ERA of 3.93. All five of their starters are at least .500, but it seems like they could use another starting arm, and they figure heavily in the Cliff Lee trade rumors. As a staff they have struck out 541 batters, and issued 173 walks. Their closer, Jon Rauch, has converted 19 saves and has a 2.45 ERA.
The biggest pre season question about this team was how they would adjust to playing outdoors, after so many years in the Metrodome. So far they have a 26-17 record at new Target Field, so the answer seems to be they have adjusted fairly well. Their power numbers may be down as they no longer play n the Homer Dome, but all appears well with this club.