Rookie manager Rocco Baldelli guided the Twins to the top of the AL Central in the first half of the season and they are on pace for 100 wins this season, but will the Twins avoid a summer collapse and still have enough gas in the tank for a legitimate playoff run against the big dogs in the American League like the NY Yankees and Houston Astros?
Meanwhile, over in the AL East, the Yankees are trying to pull away from the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. The Sox are ten games out of first place behind the Bronx Bombers, but have two big series scheduled against their AL East rivals with an opportunity to make up lost ground.
AL DIVISION LEADERS:
NY Yankees 59-32
Minnesota Twins 58-34
Houston Astros 59-35
AL WILD CARD RACE:
Tampa Bay Rays 55-40
Oakland A’s 53-41
Cleveland Indians 51-40
Boston Red Sox 50-43
The Rays and the Sox are fighting for the two Wild Card spots, but they have to keep an eye out on the other second place squads. The Sox got off to a bad start due to a World Series hangover and a mild Fortnite addiction, but have since played much better.
The Cleveland Indians trail the Twins by 6.5 games and by no means out of the division race, as well as the Wild Card.
The Twins are on pace to win 100 games this season, which exceeded preseason estimates by all of the experts.
If you haven’t been paying attention, the Oakland A’s are 12 games over .500. The A’s are one of the hottest teams in baseball with an 18-6 clip. If it weren’t for the Houston Astros, the A’s would be sitting atop the AL West.
The press dubbed ex-Tampa standout, Rocco Baldelli, as the “millennial manager”. Baldelli, 37, is definitely marching to the beat of his own drum. After all, he’s a big fan of the jamband Phish and thinks outside of the box.
One of Baldelli’s traits is his open-door policy with players and his knack for giving players the straight dope. Many managers hide things from players, mostly for their own benefit. Baldelli has taken a more of a players’ coach approach. The honesty has worked wonders with the younger and more sensitive generation of players.
“Players appreciate honesty and appreciate being told things even then they might not agree with what they are being told,” Baldelli told a local Twin Cities reporter. “Ultimately, they are in a better place and in a better frame of mind, both short and long term, when you talk to them in a very straightforward way. Hiding why we do what we do is never the right answer.”
Baldelli isn’t too far removed from the game. He retired prematurely in 2011 due to a series of injuries and ailments.
“I don’t think anybody’s confused by him, or has gotten mad at him this season,” said Marwin Gonzalez.
The Twins boast a solid home record (28-15), but they’re the best road team in baseball with a 30-19 clip. No other squad has 30 road wins this season.
According to the South Point Casino and SportsBook in Las Vegas, the Minnesota Twins are 4/1 odds to win the 2019 World Series.