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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Twins series preview

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The Cubs play their final two interleague road games of 2021.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins are like the Cubs in that both teams made last year’s expanded postseason and both were expected to compete for division titles this year and... neither one did.

For more on the Twins, here’s TJ Gorsegner, managing editor of our SB Nation Twins site Twinkie Town:

Hello Cub fans!

So first of all, I know some of my friends and family members are readers of BCB, so if the last name looks familiar, yeah, it’s me. Hi!

Anyway, the Twins are a lousy, lousy team this year — except lately. Since the trade deadline they have actually looked pretty good, over .500 at 14-13. Despite being sellers, the Twins held onto rentals like Michael Pineda and Andrelton Simmons, instead trading long-time ace and Javy Baez’ brother-in-law Jose Berrios to Toronto. They also sent slugger Nelson Cruz to the Rays. In return, the Twins got what should be the near-term future of their pitching staff, signaling that the front office doesn’t see this as a total rebuild.

The team seems to have rewarded that faith lately. With the exception of a short AL East road trip, the Twins have faced good teams and played well, including the series they just took from the Brewers. The offense seems to have come alive, lead by Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano, both of whom struggled early in the season. Byron Buxton is back, which is a huge help, and a few of the young starters have looked like there might be some future potential there.

John Gant has been deployed as an innings eater for the Twins, and you know him well from his time with the Cardinals.

Wednesday, Joe Ryan will make his MLB debut. He came to the Twins in the trade for Nelson Cruz, so he is a product of the Tampa system. Rocco Baldelli likely saw his early development as a part of the same organization. Ryan is probably the most MLB-ready starter the Twins have that had not yet debuted, so it’s no surprise to see him here. He likely would have appeared sooner, but he was with the USA Olympic team in Tokyo. He acquitted himself very well over there. He’s not going to overpower you, but he locates well and has been very, very effective for St. Paul.

Given the way the last month has gone for both teams. I’m going to predict the Twins win both of these games.

Fun fact

The last time these two teams met was July 1, 2018 at Wrigley Field. It was an exceptionally hot weekend. The Cubs swept that series. Of the 14 Cubs who played in that game, just two (Ian Happ and Jason Heyward) are currently on the Cubs’ active roster, and of the 15 Twins, also just two (Willians Astudillo and Max Kepler). Also, check out who the Twins starter was that afternoon and how hard he got hit.

Probable pitching matchups

Tuesday: Zach Davies, RHP (6-10, 5.00 ERA, 1.485 WHIP, 5.26 FIP) vs. John Gant, RHP (0-2, 6.75 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 3.41 FIP in nine games with Twins, 4-8, 4.00 ERA, 1.516 WHIP, 4.82 FIP combined, Twins/Cardinals)

Wednesday: Justin Steele, LHP (2-2, 4.15 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 5.15 FIP) vs. Joe Ryan (MLB debut)

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 7:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 7:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

TJ Gorsegner predicted a Twins sweep, just for that I’m going to predict a Cubs sweep. (In reality, it’ll probably split.)

Up next

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field for a four-game series against the Pirates beginning Thursday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Twins?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    2
    (11 votes)
  • 44%
    1
    (58 votes)
  • 46%
    0
    (60 votes)
129 votes total Vote Now