The Minnesota Twins come into Baltimore to face the reeling Orioles in a short two game series starting tonight.
The Twins, who were a lot of people’s pick to win the Central Division, have been up and down this season and come into the game with a 13-14 record on the season.
Minnesota has owned the Orioles the last three seasons compiling a 16-6 record with a 10-3 record at Camden Yards.
The Orioles will throw Mark Hendrickson in game one and Brad Bergesen in game two while the Twins will counter with Kevin Slowey and Glenn Perkins in games one and two respectively.
For year’s the Twins identity has been pitching and defense, however, their pitching has let them down thus far. They have compiled a 5.34 team earned run average ranking them 11th out of 14 teams in the American League.
Justin Morneau, who leads the team in average, home runs and RBI, is only a few seasons off an MVP award and should love the friendly confines of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
This Twins lineup is often overlooked but they have talented hitters from top to bottom and have hit at .266 clip thus far in the season.
Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer are finally hitting the ball they will provide tough match ups for the Orioles pitchers.
At 13-14 the Twins are looking to “get right” against the Orioles, something that both the Angels and Red Sox have done so far this season.
Both pitching match ups are basically a push, Slowey in 4-0 but has a 5.17 ERA.
The Orioles will score runs against Slowey, I just wonder if Hendrickson can last long enough to keep the Orioles in the game as he can not seem to make it past the 4th inning this season.
Brad Bergesen’s lone win on the season came against a team from the AL Central so he will be looking to duplicate that feat on Tuesday. Bergesen and Perkins have both been struggling so I expect runs to be at a premium.
All in all this series breaks down in the Twins favor for two reasons’ their bullpen is better and their lineup is better from top to bottom.
The Orioles have the advantage over the Twins at the top of the order but from the number four hole on the advantage goes to the Twins.
Minnesota will not hit a lot of home run but hitters like Cuddyer, Morneau, Crede, Span, Kubel and Young are better then the likes of Wigginton, Zaun, Pie and Iztruris or whoever the Orioles decide to throw in there.
Jose Mijares has yet to give up a run this season and Joe Nathan is one of the best closers in all of baseball. The Orioles bullpen is still suspect and could struggle against a veteran twins lineup.
This series could be one that gives the Orioles some confidence back or series that all but buries them early in the season.
The Twins have proven they can beat the Orioles and I would be surprised to not see them take both games in this series