Why do I think that the Twins can win this year? Part I 2007 retrospect:

Why do I think that the Twins can win this year?
Let's look at some games they lost last year:

Games that could have been won if Ponson and Ortiz were not starting (7):

4/20 (Ponson) @KCR 11-7 (Punto 3B, Redmond DH, Tyner LF starting)
4/15 (Ponson) KCR 4-3 (Rodriguez 3B, Tyner LF starting)
5/3 (Ortiz) @TBD 4-6 (Punto 3B, Tyner RF, Cirillo DH starting)
5/6 (Ponson) BOS 4-3 (Tyner RF, Cirillo DH, Rodriguez 3B starting)
5/15 (Ortiz) CLE 15-7 (G. Jones DH, Punto 3B starting, Cirillo, Tyner and Rodriguez pinch hitting; this is not a close game but Ortiz gave up 6, Perkins 3 and Crain 6 runs)
5/20 (Ortiz) @MIL 6-5 ((Punto 3B, Ford LF, Heitz C starting)
5/26 (Ortiz) Tor 9-8 (Cirillo 3B, Punto SS starting)

Cames that injured or inadequate relievers lost (8):

4/29 (Crain) @Det 4-3 (Punto 3B, Redmond DH, Rodriguez 2b starting)
8/1 (Rincon) KCR 5-3 (Tyner RF, Punto PH)
8/28 (Cali) @CLE 6-5 (Punto 2B, Tyner LF)
9/4 (DePaula) CLE 7-5 (White LF, Heitz C, Rodriguez 3B)
9/7 (DePaula) @CHW 11-10 (Tyner LF, G. Jones DH, Heintz C, Punto 2B)
9/8 (Cali) @CHW 8-7 (Tyner LF, Rodriguez 2B, Morales C, Punto SS)
9/26 (Blackburn) @Det 9-4 (White DH, Rodriguez 3B, Punto SS)
9/29 (Blackburn) @Bos 6-4 (Tyner LF, White DH, Rodriguez 2B)

1-2 run games lost starting Tyner, R. White, Cirillo, Punto, Rodriguez etc..., not mentioned above (26):

4/13 TBD 4-2 (Punto 3B, Rabe LF and Rodriguez DH)
4/22 @KCR 3-1 (Punto 3B, Rabe LF, Redmond DH)
4/24 CLE 5-3 (Tyner DH, Punto 3b)
4/29 DET 4-3 (Punto 3B, Redmond DH, Rodriguez 2B)
5/2 @TBD 4-3 (Punto 3B, Cirillo DH, Tyner RF)
5/4 BOS 2-0 (Punto 3B, Rabe RF)
5/17 CLE 2-0 (G. Jones DH, Punto 3B)
6/2 @ OAK 1-0 (Cirillo DH, Punto 3B)
6/3 @ OAK 4-2 (Punto 3B, Tyner DH)
6/9 WAS 3-1 (Punto 3B, Tyner DH)
6/22 @FLA 5-4 (Cirillo 3B, Ford LF)
6/27 TOR 5-4 (Punto 3B, Ford RF)
7/1 @DET 1-0 (Punto 3B, Tyner DH)
7/7 @CHW 3-1 (Cirillo DH, Punto 3B, Ford LF)
7/17 DET 1-0 (Cirillo DH, Tyner LF, Punto 3B)
7/18 DET 3-2 (Cirillo DH, Ford LF, Punto 3B)
7/19 DET 4-3 (G. Jones RF, Punto 3B, Tyner CF)
7/23 @TOR 6-4 (White DH, Tyner RF, Punto 3B)
8/9 @KCR 1-0 (White DH, Rodriguez 3B)
8/11 @LAA 4-3 (Punto 3B, White LF)
8/13 @SEA 4-3 (Punto 3B, Tyner DH, White LF)
8/29 @CLE 4-3 (White DH, Tyner LF, Punto 3B)
9/14 DET 4-2 (White LF, Punto 3B)
9/15 DET 4-3 (G. JOnes DH, Rodriguez 2B, Punto 3B)
9/16 DET 6-4 (Tyner LF, Heintz C, Rodriguez 2B, Punto SS)
9/21 CWS 6-4 (LeCroy DH, Ford LF, Punto 3B)

Total games 26+8+7=41...

Let's very conservatively assume that the Twins this year will win 1/4 of these games, due to upgrades in batting, the rotation and bullpen. That would be 10 games, giving them a record of 89-73 and easily making the playoffs, esp. given that most of these wins are on division rivals. The Twins' 2007 Record against division rivals was:

vs CHW 9-9
vs CLE 4-14
vs DET 6-12
vs KCR 9-9

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