Are you ready for some baseball?  Twins baseball? The Minnesota Twins open the 2016 regular season Monday in Baltimore.

The Twins will play three against the Orioles and then head to Kansas City for a weekend series against the World Series champs. They will face the White Sox Monday, April 11 in their home opener.

The Twins have a pretty tough schedule during April with games against the Angels, Nationals, Indians, Brewers and Tigers. They will have only three off days during the month.

Expectations are high for the Twins this year after the respectable 2015 season that saw young stars emerge and Paul Molitor prove to be a capable manager as the team posted its first winning record (83-79) since 2010 and finished second in their division.

The Twins added a new bat to the lineup for the 2016 season by signing South Korean slugger Byung Ho Park and are hoping the hot spring training season put together by Danny Santana carries over into the regular season. The Twins are also hoping for good seasons from veterans Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Kurt Suzuki and Trevor Plouffe and are looking for more help from Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and new catcher John Ryan Murphy.

The starting three pitchers (Ervin Santana, Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes) look promising and hopefully Ricky Nolasco and Tommy Milone can find their groove and help the team challenge KC for the division title.

Most experts expect the Twins to improve over last year’s performance and many feel they are a playoff team. Are they? Can they get enough quality starts to win ten more games this year, which would put them at 93 wins, just two short of KC’s 2015 total?  

Barring injuries, the 2016 Twins team should be competitive and the experience from last season when they were bidding for a playoff berth should give them an extra boost. The whole season could come down to the final month when they face KC six times and will also play the Mets and all their division opponents.

KD's prediction:  90-72 and their first playoff series since 2010.

Coverage of Monday's game on KROC AM begins at 1:30 p.m.


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