A strong April is important to any team as the season gets underway, but the Minnesota Twins schedule in the opening month gives them a massive opportunity to make an early impact as they try to rebound from another losing season in 2014.
The Twins first 12 games in 2015 will allow them to see the other four teams in their division, starting with the Tigers and White Sox on the road next week before taking on the Royals and Indians at Target Field. Minnesota won’t see an out of division opponent until April 24th when they are in Seattle for a three game series, and those three games will be the team’s only games in April outside of the AL Central.
To compare this to other schedules, Detroit plays seven games outside the division in April.
The makeup of the schedule is very different from the one that the team played last season, when they took on the Athletics, Royals, Blue Jays and Dodgers in April. This time around, a strong opening month from the Twins will prove that they can play with the teams in their own division and probably put them at the top of the standings as well.
Minnesota posted a 36-40 mark in division play last year, which was the second worst record among AL Central teams, but only three games off the Royals and Indians, who both won 39 games in the division.
Minnesota escaping the first month of the season above the .500 mark will mean they are in contention for a playoff spot because it would prove that they are able to play with the other four teams in the AL Central. Where the team has struggled over the past four seasons, anything close to a winning record would look good, but knowing that you are just as good as the teams you play most often will be a big boost for the club.
The team is also catching a bit of a break in the opening series against the Tigers with former American League MVP Justin Verlander to Start Season on Disabled List” href=”http://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/04/02/tigers-justin-verlander-to-start-season-on-disabled-list/” target=”_blank”>Justin Verlander starting the season on the disabled list. Verlander is a known Twin killer, and is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA against Minnesota over the last three seasons.