Patrick Reusse: 89-73
The Twins have loaded up on professional pitchers: Lance Lynn, Jake Odorizzi, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke and Addison Reed have been added to the roster. Throw in Jose Berrios (outstanding), Kyle Gibson (best he’s been) and eventually Ervin Santana. Pitching wins, and Twins are in much better shape there than in 2017.
Jim Souhan: 89-73
A few young players struggle early, but depth of pitching in the organization allows for another second-half surge and wild-card berth. Remember the history of the Twins: When they get just enough starting pitching, they find a way to win. They have more than enough starting pitching for the first time since the mid-2000s.
Chip Scoggins: 87-75
The pitching should be improved — the starting rotation and bullpen are deeper and more talented to go along with a lineup that should provide plenty of offense. Cleveland remains the AL Central favorite, but there’s no reason why the Twins shouldn’t contend for a wild-card spot again this summer.
La Velle E. Neal III: 86-76
The season hasn’t started yet, and the Twins have Ervin Santana (surgery) and Jorge Polanco (PED suspension) in trouble. By the time these players are back, someone else will be out of the lineup, so the cycle already is spinning. But, on paper, they have a stronger roster than a year ago, when they went to the wild-card game with Bartolo Colon in the rotation.
Sid Hartman: 85-77
The Twins’ record last year was better than their talent, but the young players developed and their pitching was just good enough to get them into the playoffs. I’m not convinced their pitching is going to be all that much better, despite the hype. Other teams in the AL have gotten better. I think they will have the same record.
Phil Miller: 83-79
The pitching is better — I predict that in September Twins fans will say, “Where would this team be without Lance Lynn?” — but even in a weak division, is it the pitching staff of a postseason contender? Maybe not until highly touted prospect Fernando Romero arrives, but that will be too late to matter this year.