Give Grantland's Michael Baumann credit for an entertaining approach as he points out why the Minnesota Twins are not the title contender you may want them to be.
We'll send you to his full piece for the cultural references, but here are some quick takes from Baumann on why the Twins' 28-18 start isn't the beginning of a road to glory in 2015:
"The Twins have brought up pitcher Trevor May, who’s been below average, and outfielder Aaron Hicks, who’s been terrible. But top prospects Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, J.O. Berrios, and Alex Meyer remain in the minor leagues. The major addition to last year’s 92-loss team was the wilting, desiccated husk of Torii Hunter, a nostalgia trip who seems ill aware that his days as a superstar are a thing of the past.
"So how in the world are the Twins sitting 10 games above .500?"
Baumann cites some of the data also used in La Velle E. Neal III's story about the team's success. Some of the numbers explain why the Twins are winning -- and also fuel skepticism about whether the Twins can keep winning.
"Despite the breakout 2014 seasons from Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe carrying over through the first two months of this year, as well as Hunter turning in a 117 OPS+, the Twins rank 20th in OBP and 17th in slugging percentage," Baumann writes. "And while new manager Paul Molitor is calling for bunts far less frequently than his predecessor, Ron Gardenhire, that’s a marginal thing at this point in the season.
"On the mound, Phil Hughes turned from the greatest control pitcher ever back into something approaching league average. The Twins are 16th in ERA, 21st in opponent OPS, and — true to their reputation — last in K/9, almost three-quarters of a strikeout per game behind 29th-place Colorado.
"What you’ll notice, however, is that while the underlying numbers paint Minnesota’s success as a fluke, there’s not really one area to which we can attribute the Twins’ punching above their weight."
Baumann builds his case with more statistical evidence from the first quarter of the season and concludes that the Twins, despite being tied for the third best record in baseball, are pretty much just tagging along with more talented teams.
"This 28-18 start isn’t for real," he writes. "But something doesn’t have to be real to make you feel good. There’s something to be said for just tagging along."
You can read the full piece here. You may not like it, but it's worth going there.