Its opening day when all fans are optimists about their home team. But is there really a realistic chance for the Twins to win the division? The answer is certainly yes. There are two barriers to them being a contender. But both could be overcome.
The first is the Detroit Tigers. It is very unlikely, even with the best of outcomes, the Twins could beat the team Detroit has on paper. On paper, the Tigers are by far the best team in the division. Its hard to imagine the Twins being able to beat them if the Tigers stay healthy and play up to their ability. But, as we should have learned as Twins fans last year, teams don't always do either of those things. The Twins need to Tigers to stumble to have a shot, but there is nothing unrealistic about that happening.
In addition to the Tigers stumbling, the Twins will need to have some breaks. That includes their core players staying healthy and playing up to their ability. The mantra around Mauer and Morneau being the key to the Twins success remains true. You can add Span to that list. But the Twin offense looks like it can produce some runs and the starting pitching, while hardly outstanding, has five guys who have shown they can keep their team in the game. That combination can win a lot of games.
Is it likely the Twins will win the division? No. Is it realistically possible? Yes. That's why they play the games.