FIVE THINGS TO WATCH THIS WEEK
• The Twins start a seven-game homestand Monday with three games against the White Sox and four more with Kansas City. The Twins will take them one at a time, but we can look big-picture: it's possible the Twins could clinch the AL Central at Target Field with a strong week of play.
• After two uncharacteristic early-season losses, the Gophers volleyball team looks to be back on track after victories the past two weekends over Florida, Oregon and Stanford. You can see for yourself: Minnesota is back home Thursday at the Maturi Pavilion for a match against Clemson.
• The Gophers football team has required fourth-quarter comebacks in all three wins this season, but the bottom line is that Minnesota is 3-0 and style points quickly evaporate as the season wears on. Only six of the 14 teams in the Big Ten are undefeated, and the Gophers are one of them. They won't lose next week, either: They have a bye.
• You don't get a lot of interesting kicker subplots in the NFL, but the Vikings seemingly give us one every week. Next Sunday? The Raiders come to U.S. Bank Stadium, and with them comes kicker Daniel Carlson — who lasted just two regular-season games in purple as a rookie in 2018 before being cut.
• It seems like every match the rest of the year is big for Minnesota United as it pushes toward the postseason for the first time in three Major League Soccer seasons. Sunday's game at Portland looms particularly large with both teams occupying similar spots in the Western Conference standings.