Buster Olney says Twins have toughest first-quarter schedule in AL
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The Twins should have an improved roster this season, but they'll have stiff competition in the first 40 games of the season, according to a schedule breakdown from ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
The column is loaded with great stuff. Olney notes that 31 of the Twins' first 40 games (roughly the quarter pole) are against teams with .500 or better records in 2013. In those game, 22 are road games.
My son plays a video game called "Injustice," and I think that lineup of villains is easier than what the Twins will face early in the year. They start out the season with six road games, and then beginning April 18, the Twins will play 25 straight games -- count 'em, 25 -- against teams that either made the playoffs or contended, including the Red Sox, Tigers, Rays and Dodgers. The Twins' new pitching will be tested early.
I expect, on the whole, this season will be better for Twins fans. But it looks like this early slate could trip up the Twins. If they get off to a slow start, even with recent additions to the starting rotation, what level of interest will fans have?
Hosting the All-Star Game in July at Target Field should help. Calling up Miguel Sano could help.
Stumbling out of the gates, however, could erode interest in a hurry.