The Twins were a combined 1-8 against the Dodgers and Astros this season. Those nine games — and this World Series — are evidence of the gulf that exists between a fringe playoff team and an elite team.
It's hard to imagine the Twins coming remotely close to matching the starting pitching and starting lineups both teams can run out there. It's equally hard to imagine the Twins — as currently constructed — navigating the late innings against these teams.
That said, the Twins are in the midst of a building process, not at the end of it. Houston lost at least 106 games every season between 2011 and 2013, and then lost 92 in 2014. Their bottoming-out period fell in line with the Twins' bottoming out.
It's premature to suggest the Twins' ceiling is as high as the Astros' ceiling. But Minnesota could very well be the 2017 Astros by 2019 or so.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.