The Major League Baseball trade deadline is Friday, July 30 at 3:00 p.m. CT. After that, the St. Louis Cardinals begin their streak against the Minnesota Twins at 7:15 p.m. CT. The Cardinals are tied 0.500 at 51-51 and 6-4 in their last ten games. The Twins are 43-60 overall and 19-30 on the road. It should be an indication of how this series will go, but you can’t predict baseball like I have so painfully learned.
Some tips about twins
The Twins are near the bottom of the league in defense and pitching, which probably explains their poor record. Their 4.63 team FIP is the fifth worst in the league and their 5.01 team ERA is tied for third worst. A big reason why there have been problems with the longball. As a team, their HR / 9 is second highest in baseball at 1.53 and their fly ball home run rate is 15.6%, third in MLB.
Defense is a bit harder to quantify with less than a season of data, but the Def fWAR on Fangraphs for the Twins is near the bottom, as is their UZR. It seems safe to say that the Twins aren’t a great defensive team.
On offense, it was a different story, however. The Twins have the seventh highest wRC + team in baseball at 104, are tied for third highest ISO team at .187 and tied for second in homers at 151. The Twins have seven players with 10+ homers. , led by Nelson Cruz with 19.
The roster is filled with good hitters, the best this season being Byron Buxton leading the team with a 217 wRC +. He has been on the injured list with a hand injury since June 21. After him, there are three players with a wRC + over 120: Mitch Garver at 150, Nelson Cruz at 142, Josh Donaldson at 128.
A few things about the Cardinals
The Cardinals pitchers will have their work cut out for this lineup, but they could be the best-equipped team to slow them down. They are tied for first in baseball in HR / 9 at 0.92 and first in baseball in HR / FB at 10.5%.
On the offensive side, the Cardinals are currently led by [rubs eyes] Harrison Bader. Bader is in his prime and this could be due to a procedure to remove polyps from his sinuses which helped his eyesight. He currently leads the Cardinals with a 135 wRC +.
Goldy Watch: Paul Goldschmidt’s wRC + is now at 116, down slightly from 120 last week.
A few things about Matchups:
Friday July 30 at 7:15 p.m. CT is José Berríos and Wade LeBlanc. Berríos throws a curve ball, sinker, and four-seam joint pretty much evenly and sprinkles in a change the rest of the time. LeBlanc threw a cutter most of the time, followed by his lead and change. He also occasionally throws a grid and a curved ball.
Saturday, July 31 at 6:15 p.m. CT, it’s Bailey Ober for the Twins against a mystery starter for the Cardinals. Ober throws his four seams 58% of the time and brings a slider, shift and curve when he is ahead in the count.
On Sunday, August 1 at 1:15 p.m. CT, it’s Michael Pineda against another mystery starter from the Cardinals. Pineda throws a four seam more than 50% of the time and a slider 30% of the time. It also initiates a change.