HOW TO BEAT THEM
Lefthanded pitching absolutely kills them. I just don't think this club is good enough to win two playoff rounds. The X factor is the Metrodome. The roof and the noise are a problem for visiting teams. Put the Twins in an outdoor grass stadium and they're just another club.
St. Louis CARDINALS
Matt Morris, RHP (17-9, 3.42 ERA). Very good No. 1 starter. His fastball (around 94 mph) and curve are above average. Doesn't use his changeup often, but when he throws it well, he's tough.
Chuck Finley, LHP (7-4, 3.80 ERA) Outstanding down the stretch and in the Division Series, commanding his fastball very well in the zone. When he does that, hitters will chase his splitter all day long.
Andy Benes, RHP (5-4, 2.78 ERA). Back from the dead. When I saw him late in the year, I couldn't believe this was the same guy. His fastball is average (88-91 mph), but he's spotting it well, and his slider has more bite.
Woody Williams, RHP (9-4, 2.53 ERA). Excellent No. 4 and a great competitor. Commands all four pitches (fastball, curve, changeup, cutter); curveball is especially nasty.
C Eli Marrero is versatile; he has shown a little power and some speed this year. OF Kerry Robinson has great speed and is a good defensive replacement, but he's not a very strong hitter. 3B Scott Rolen is hurt, but he's such a gamer, I wouldn't rule out seeing him in the LCS.
RHP Jason Isringhausen is a solid closer. He used to rattle under pressure, but he's pitched enough big games to mature. LHP Steve Kline's fastball is below average, but he spots it well. LHP Jeff Fassero is a good matchup guy, and he can get some righties out with his split. RHP Rick White gets a lot of ground balls with his hard sinker and good slider.