When the Twins lost their 100th game of the season Sunday and the Vikings won at Carolina to stay undefeated, it didn’t take a math whiz to figure out that the Vikings had 100 fewer losses than the Twins at that point.
As of Tuesday afternoon, that’s still the case. But the Twins will have six more chances to lose in the next six days before mercifully ending this season Sunday. The Vikings don’t play until Monday night.
So here’s a question: will the Vikings finish this season with at least 100 fewer losses than the Twins?
Your answer depends on a combination of faith in the Vikings and lack of faith in the Twins — both of which are in heavy supply right now in Minnesota.
The math is pretty simple since the gap is 100 right now. However many games the Twins lose in the next six, the Vikings can only afford to lose that many all season to keep the pace.
If the Twins lose all six, the Vikings could go 10-6. If the Twins go 2-4, the Vikings would need to go 12-4. If the Twins somehow run the table, the Vikings would need to go 16-0.
Although the Twins have been woeful this season and are playing on the road to end the year, they are also playing teams (the Royals and White Sox) who will have nothing to play for, either. Kansas City, one year after winning the World Series, is on the verge of being officially eliminated from the playoff race while Chicago already has been. Given that both opponents are probably disappointed, it’s not far-fetched to think the Twins could win a handful of these games.
My best guess: The Twins go 2-4 in the next six, meaning the Vikings would need to go 12-4 to keep the 100-victory cushion. I’m on record during this week’s Access Vikings podcast as saying the Vikings will do it, though I might regret it if the Twins have an unexpectedly strong finish.
The 100-win gap has clearly been done before — the 2003 Tigers made it impossible for the Lions not to get there by going 43-119 (even though the Lions went just 5-11). The 2005 Royals went 56-106 while the Chiefs went 10-6.
But the Vikings and Twins have never turned the trick. The Twins had only topped 100 losses in a season once before this year — 1982, when they went 60-102. Even with the “benefit” of a work stoppage that year, the Vikings at 5-4 couldn’t pull it off.
This year, though, there’s a real chance — which probably says more about the Twins than it does the Vikings but mostly speaks to the wide gap between the two franchises just one season after both seemed to be trending upward.