Let’s recap a weekend in sports dominated by the Vikings and Twins with some numbers worth noting:
It all adds up
Adrian Peterson’s improved performance Sunday (pesky fumbles notwithstanding) was hardly a surprise within the context of history. He’s always been more productive at home (109.3 ypg coming into Sunday in home games vs. 86.5 ypg on the road). He’s always fared well against the NFC North. And he’s historically had a tough time on “Monday Night Football” (58.6 yards per game) compared to Sundays (102.2 yards per game).
It also should be no surprise that in Peterson’s worst games, the Vikings have fared poorly. When he rushes for 31 yards or fewer (as he did last week), Minnesota is 1-8 all-time. When he gets at least 100 yards more than that (131+, as he did this week, if you are math-challenged) the Vikings are 18-7-1.
If the Twins wind up short of a postseason berth this season, there will be plenty of moments to point to for “what-if” moments (just as there will be plenty of moments in the other direction if they rally and gain a wild-card spot).
This recent five-game home losing skid, though, has to rank near the top of the missed chances — particularly the middle three games of the streak, all of which could have gone the Twins’ way. Baseball Reference calculates a team’s win expectancy at various points in every game.
On Wednesday against Detroit, in the bottom of the eighth, ninth and 10th, the Twins had better than 80 percent win expectancy at different points, according to Baseball Reference. They lost 7-4 in 12 innings.
On Thursday in an 11-8 loss to the Angels after a five-run first inning the Twins had a 90 percent chance of winning.
And Saturday in a 4-3, 12-inning loss to Angels in game 1 of a doubleheader, they had a 79 percent win expectancy after tying the score on a Miguel Sano home run and putting the next two runners on base.
A rare Sunday
The Vikings and Twins are at much different points in their seasons, but still both faced what were pretty close to “must-wins” Sunday under the circumstances.
They both pulled through, marking the first time since Sept. 23, 2012, that both teams won on the same day. They generally have only four regular-season dates in common per season, but that’s still not a good stat for either team.
Still under .500
Here’s an odd nugget: In spite of the victories for both of their teams Sunday, Joe Mauer and Adrian Peterson have appeared in more losses than victories for the Twins and Vikings.
The Vikings are 52-53-1 in Peterson’s 106 career games played. The Twins, meanwhile, are 721-723 in Mauer’s 1,444 games played.
It goes to show the hard times both franchises have fallen on in recent seasons. The Vikings were 28-18 in the first 46 games Peterson played from 2007-09. The Twins were 71 games over .500 when Mauer played during his first seven seasons from 2004-2010.