Twins vs Red Sox: When Hot Streaks Collide

MLB: Minnesota Twins, Statcast bat tracking
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a perfect road trip, the Twins return home this weekend for a difficult test against the Boston Red Sox.

The Twins have won 10 games in a row, the best streak in the majors, and they are coming off a 6-0 road tour against the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox.

Minnesota Twins vs Boston Red Sox

To be fair, victories against subpar teams count the same in the standings as victories against quality teams. But Minnesota has a chance to see how it measures up against one of the AL’s early-season surprises when the Red Sox come to town.

Boston, which has won each of its past two series, has asserted itself as a worthy contender in the AL East through the first month of the season. The Red Sox (like the Twins) were quiet during the offseason, with their owner mostly opting to keep his wallet in his pocket.

Injuries also have hit Boston hard. But the Red Sox keep winning anyway.  

The Twins enter the series with three-straight sweeps (White Sox, Angels, White Sox).

Boston has the lowest ERA in the majors at 2.59 entering Thursday. The Twins have hit well recently but are middle of the pack (No. 13 entering Thursday) with a .714 OPS.

Boston has scored more runs, belted more homers and swiped more bases than Minnesota. The Twins have a big advantage on defense, as they have committed 11 errors (tied for fourth-lowest in the majors) while the Red Sox entered Thursday with a league-worst 25 errors.

The Red Sox are good on the road with an 11-5 record. The Twins are 6-6 at home. 

Friday: Twins RHP Chris Paddack (2-1, 5.88) vs. Red Sox RHP Tanner Houck (3-2, 1.60)

Minnesota Twins vs Boston Red Sox, Chris Paddack
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

At 27 years old, Houck is off to the best start of his career. He has shown pinpoint control this season as he has walked only five batters and struck out 41 in 39 1/3 innings.

Can the Twins be disciplined at the plate against Houck? Several hitters have done well in a limited sample size against him. Willi Castro is 2-for-3 with a double and a homer, Manuel Margot is hitting .429 (3-for-7) and Trevor Larnach is hitting .400 (2-for-5). But Ryan Jeffers, Edouard Julien, Kyle Farmer and Christian Vazquez are a combined 0-for-10 against Houck.

Saturday: Twins RHP Pablo Lopez (2-2, 4.83) vs. TBD

The Red Sox have not announced their Saturday starter, but one option would be for veteran right-hander Chase Anderson to make a second spot start. Anderson filled in for injured starter Brayan Bello on April 25 and was hammered for five runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Before that outing, he had posted a 2.77 ERA and collected two saves in six bullpen appearances.

Related: How Can Comcast Xfinity Customers Watch the Minnesota Twins on Bally Sports North?

The 36-year-old Anderson is 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA in three career starts against the Twins. If he gets the ball, look for Vazquez to start at catcher for the Twins. Vazquez is 6-for-8 with two doubles against Anderson in his career. Manuel Margot is 3-for-9 with a homer.

Sunday: Twins RHP Joe Ryan (1-1, 3.38) vs. Red Sox RHP Cooper Criswell (2-1, 1.65)

With two victories, the 27-year-old Criswell already has set a career high. He is coming off back-to-back victories against the Cleveland Guardians and San Francisco Giants, and in each start he turned in five scoreless innings while scattering three hits and two hits, respectively.

Jeffers singled in his lone at-bat against Criswell. No other Twins player has recorded a hit against him in a tiny sample size, as five players have combined to go 0-for-7.

–Tom Musick covers all things Minnesota for Field Level Media.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: