MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Minnesota Twins

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Minnesota Twins

2017 Record: (85-77) 2nd in AL Central

Off Season Transactions:

Traded for Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays

Signed Anibal Sanchez in Free Agency

Sign Michael Pineda in Free Agency

Projected Starting Rotation:

Ervin Santana – He doesn’t really have good strikeout numbers or anything but would have games where he put up 50+ because he can go complete games from time to time. He has upside, but at the same time he can get blown up and shit on your day. I usually just stay away from him unless it is on a smaller slate because I don’t want to guess and would rather pitch someone else I actually have confidence in. Will be an option with upside but also risky.

Jose Berrios – I really like this kid. He has strikeout stuff with his curveball and I’m looking forward to seeing him improve this year. He had extreme home/road splits last year where he had a 2.41 ERA at home and a 5.17 ERA on the road. He also increased his strikeout percentage by 6% at home as well. Whatever it is with him at Target Field I am not sure, but be sure to roster him when pitching at home rather than on the road until the numbers even out.

Jake Odorizzi – He isn’t going to be someone we are going to pitch this year ever but there will be times where he can stack or take hitters against Odorizzi. He gives up quite a bit of hard contact, fly balls, and isn’t a threat to strike a ton of hitters out.

Kyle Gibson – He isn’t a great pitcher but for DFS purposes. He is hard to stack against because he keeps the ball on the ground so well with over a 50% ground ball percentage. He pitches to contact and doesn’t strike anyone out so we won’t want to pitch him either. Maybe just a bat or two against him from time to time.

Anibal Sanchez – I’m guessing the Twins brought him in to be the 5th guy in the rotation. He had really bad numbers last year giving up a lot of hard contact, a lot of fly balls and in turn a lot of home runs. He gave up 2.68 HR/9 to right handed hitters last year and 1.8 HR/9 to left handed hitters. With all of the being said, he has a 22% strikeout percentage and the advanced numbers show that last year he got unlucky and the results shouldn’t have been as bad as they were which is why he as a cheap GPP option on some days. He might be able to be used for that again. We will see.

* Michael Pineda – Isn’t going to be healthy to start the season but should come in and fill a rotation spot when he is healthy enough to pitch.*

Bullpen:

Not very good and we can use that as a boost for teams we want to pick against the Twins.

Starting Lineup:

Brian Dozier (2B) – This guy is a great option at 2nd base every day but he is also very expensive every day and it’s tough to spend up at 2nd base when the other spend up spots are a lot sexier. He has home run and RBI upside which makes him a good tourney play on a daily basis.

Joe Mauer (1B) – He is a great hitter and still hits above .300 but he doesn’t have the power upside you want from a 1st baseman which makes him hard to roster in DFS at a position you want to have massive upside from.

Miguel Sano (3B) – I am so happy he is going to be back in the lineup this year after missing the end of last year with an injury. I rostered him probably every day he played last year. The dude hits the ball so hard and is only going to improve as he is only 24. I’m excited to see what he has in 2018.

Eddie Rosario (OF) – He is a really good outfield option. Bats from the left side of the plate and we’re only going to want to roster him vs right handed pitching. He hits for average and has power.

Max Kepler (OF) – He is an alright option. If he is cheap he in more appealing and that is when you can consider him. He has the ability to hit for power and can have GPP winning upside games. As a lefty hitter we will only want to roster when facing right handed pitching.

Byron Buxton (OF) – Is a highly regarded prospect who got has 1st major league season under his belt. He is going to improve this year. He has the ability to hit for power as he showed it in the minors but didn’t really all that much last year in the majors. The big thing with Buxton is he has the ability to steal bases with ease. Major upside if we can get him in a matchup where we feel he can get on base and is facing a pitcher who can’t hold runners or a catcher who can’t throw.

Jorge Polanco (SS) – He is a decent option at shortstop and last year we saw him have GPP winning upside in games where he hit a couple home runs. Keep him in mind when you’re looking for cheaper shortstop options.

Robbie Grossman (OF) – Another alright option here in the outfield if he is cheap but nothing to get too excited over. Has the ability to knock one out of the park here or there. If he is cheap he is worth a shot in a Twins stack to try and differentiate your stack from others if the Twins are chalk that day.

Jason Castro/Mitch Garver (C) – Good punt options at catcher. Have power ability.

Playing Field:

Target Field

Ball Park Factor – 18th

I think this is a pretty neutral park. The Twins changed from a dome to the outdoor Target Field so keep in mind early on in the year it’s going to cold and the ball won’t travel as far but once it gets warmer out in Minnesota I saw the run production increase.

“Must Knows” of the Minnesota Twins going into 2018 MLB DFS:

I touched on it in the article but make sure you are aware of Jose Berrios home/road splits. He had extreme home/road splits last year where he had a 2.41 ERA at home and a 5.17 ERA on the road. He also increased his strikeout percentage by 6% at home as well.