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The 2023 Twins were advertised as a team whose strengths would come from pitching and defense instead of offense, a stark contrast to the 2019 Bomba Squad that set an MLB record for home runs.

So far, that advertisement has been spot on — and almost too good to be true when it comes to the pitching.

As I wondered on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast: The Twins rank at or near the top of MLB in a lot of pitching categories, but at or near the bottom in several offensive categories. Even if can say with certainty that pitching is this team's strength, it's fair to wonder if the offense can pick up enough slack to offset even a minor pitching regression.

These questions tend to get asked in the midst of three-game losing streaks, as the 10-7 Twins are on entering Wednesday's game in Boston. Here's what we know, and here's what we might expect to happen next:

*The Twins lead the majors in ERA (2.61 going into Wednesday). Perhaps even more impressively, they are second in baseball in strikeouts (179) while being tied for first in fewest walks (39). That combination is probably not sustainable, but even numbers approaching that will form the foundation of any very good pitching staff. It's been a team effort, but it sure helps having three starters in the top-22 in ERA (Sonny Gray, Pablo López and Joe Ryan).

*That said, the Twins' FIP — a metric similar to ERA that tries to take fielding and other random events out of the equation — is 3.41. While that still puts them in very good company (No. 3 in MLB), the sizable gap between FIP and ERA suggests the Twins' team ERA could climb soon even while remaining elite.

*If that happens, is there enough offense in the lineup to compensate and to keep winning games? After all, the Twins rank No. 25 in MLB in slugging percentage, No. 26 in batting average and No. 27 in OPS. They're scoring about four runs a game on average, but they've been held to three runs or fewer in 10 of their 17 games.

*The good news is the Twins are close to getting reinforcements. Joey Gallo is slated to be activated Wednesday. Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff are both ramping up their rehab with Class AAA St. Paul and could make their Twins debuts in late April.

But overall, the story of the season could very well be this: Will the Twins pitching be further above average than the offense is below average?