By Jeff Wald

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The schedule maker for Major League Baseball this season didn’t do the Minnesota Twins any favors when it comes to early-season home games.

Of course, nobody can predict weather patterns when the MLB season is put together. It’s also a safe bet that when you have early April baseball at Target Field, it will likely be cold, and it could snow.

The Twins started the 2018 season with a five-game road trip. Three at Baltimore, and two at Pittsburgh. They had a day off in between the opening games of both series, as mandated by MLB if they have to postpone a home opener.

The Twins open the home portion of the 2018 regular season on Thursday with a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. First pitch Thursday is set for 3:10 p.m. They have Friday off, in the event Thursday has to be postponed. The two teams will also square off at 1:10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Twins follow that with a three-game series, next Monday through Wednesday, against the Houston Astros. The Monday and Tuesday games are set for 7:10 p.m., with the Wednesday game being a 12:10 first pitch as it’s a travel day for the Astros.

But if you’re a Twins fan and have tickets to these first six home games, you’ll want to bundle up and assume they’re playing. Here’s why:

The forecast on Thursday calls for an afternoon high temperature of about 36 degrees, and most importantly, dry. So it might be chilly, but the Twins and Mariners will likely play. That’s because the Friday forecast, the open day, calls for a high of about 24 degrees.

Saturday will again be dry, but it will be cold by April standards with a high in the low 30s. Sunday could get tricky, with a predicted high of about 35 degrees with a chance for snow.

But again, the Twins and Mariners will do whatever they can to get these three games in. The Mariners don’t return to Target Field the rest of the regular season, and it’s nearly impossible to match open days on schedules for a potential doubleheader. So it will be cold, but they will play.

The circumstances are similar for when the defending World Series champion Astros come to town. All three days have predicted high temperatures in the high 30s or low 40s. Snow is a possibility on Monday and Wednesday.

But if they can play, the Twins and Astros will play. It’s Houston’s only trip to Target Field in the regular season, so they will do whatever can be done to get all three games in. The last thing either team wants to do is play one game if they can find a common open day on the schedule. So bundle up if you have tickets, or find one of the indoor bars.

It’s also not a new concept. Every year, you’re taking a gamble scheduling a Twins home game in early April. So keep your winter coats and stocking caps handy, because you’ll need them for another week.

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