Wisconsin teams right now are as good as (and usually better than) their major Minnesota counterparts — including two notable battles that were virtual ties not that long ago:
• Brewers vs. Twins: A year ago, there was a slight edge to the Twins. Minnesota was 85-77 and Milwaukee was 86-76, but the Twins made the postseason and had at least as promising a young core of players as the Brewers. Now? The Twins are stuck in neutral at best after a 78-win season and the Brewers are in the NLCS.
• Bucks vs. Wolves: The Bucks (44 wins) and Wolves (47 wins) both made the postseason last year.
Both opened with similar win total projections this year (Wolves 44.5 over-under in the Westgate Sports Book, and the Bucks at 46.5), but the Bucks have become trendy and are up to 48.5 while the Wolves, amid Jimmy Butler trade speculation, are down to 41.5.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.