Twins’ aggressive approach paying off at the plate

New manager Rocco Baldelli’s Minnesota Twins are taking an aggressive approach at the plate.

The Twins lead the majors with an .846 OPS, are tied for third with 49 home runs and rank sixth with a team batting average of .266.

Minnesota’s batters are also averaging just 3.76 pitches per plate appearances, the lowest such number in baseball.

Team P/PA
Minnesota Twins 3.76
Colorado Rockies 3.79
San Francisco Giants 3.81
Houston Astros 3.83
Arizona Diamondbacks 3.85

The Twins’ home run percentage — 5.2% — is also the highest in the majors.

Newcomer C.J. Cron has done his part.

Cron has hit five home runs this season with an average exit velocity of 110.6 mph, tops in baseball, but keeping it up against Astros pitcher Justin Verlander on Monday could be a challenge.

Verlander leads the majors in quality starts (36), K/BB rate (7.43) and WHIP (0.87) since making his first start for the Astros on Sept. 5, 2017.

The veteran was sharp against the Twins last week in his most recent start, going eight innings and allowing just four hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts.

Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, who faced the Astros last week, helped Minnesota to a 9-5 win, going 5 2/3 innings while allowing eight hits and two earned runs.

Odorizzi has been throwing 54% of his pitches in the strike zone this season, up from 50.2% a season ago, and his highest such rate as a full-time major leaguer.

Statistics courtesy of Sportradar