The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins got an extra day of rest with Thursday's postponement, but now they begin their series. It is time to continue our MLB odds series with an Astros-Twins prediction, pick, and how to watch.
The defending World Series champions come in 3-4 on the season, after dropping two of three to the Tigers. They avoided the sweep on Wednesday with an 8-2 victory over the Tigers and then traveled to Minnesota, but the first game of the series was postponed. The Twins open this four-game series at 4-2 on the season but dropped the last two on the road in Miami. The last game saw the Twins' pitching staff give up five runs, which is just one less than they had given up in the five games prior combined.
Here are the Astros-Twins MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Astros-Twins Odds
Houston Astros: +1.5 (-192)
Minnesota Twins: -1.5 (+158)
Over: 7.5 (-108)
Under: 7.5 (-112)
How To Watch Astros vs. Twins
Time: 4:10 PM ET/ 1:10 PMPT
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Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread
The Astros are being led on offense this season by outfield Yordan Alvarez. So far this season, Alvarez only has one game in which he does not have an RBI. He leads the team with 10 RBIs on the season and has a hit in every game so far this year. His slugging percentage has been impressive, currently sitting at .652, Alvarez has hit two home runs and a double in his eight hits on the season. Along with Alvarez, new signing Jose Abreu has been getting on base well. Hitting .345 on the season and an OBP of .406, Abreu has been on base a lot in the early season, but he has only scored once, being left in scoring position consistently.
Kyle Tucker is also having the issue of being left on base. Tucker has an OBP of .467, with eight hits and six walks, but he has only scored four runs this year. Three of those four runs are because he drove in himself, hitting three home runs on the season, which leads the team. Tucker is seeing the ball well though, is .194 walks per at-bat, and 1.20 walks per strikeout both leading the team. If he can continue to get one base, eventually other bats will follow and drive him home.
The pitching staff has not been stellar so far this year outside of Framber Valdez. Valdez is the only starter with an ERA under 3.20 on the season. Jose Urquidy will get his second start of the season on the mound. He struggles to keep the ball in the yard in his first outing, giving up two home runs, three runs, and seven hits in just four innings. The offense bailed him out though, and he received the no decision. Career against the Twins, he has two starts, giving up four runs in ten innings, and not receiving a decision.
Why The Twins Could Cover The Spread
The Minnesota Twins have been led by their pitching staff so far this season. On the year, they have a combined .190 ERA, which is the best in the Majors. They also have two team shutouts which tie them for first in MLB. Leading to this low ERA is the fact that they do not allow baserunners. On the season the pitching staff has a .96 WHIP, and a .188 opposing batting average. Both are in the top two in MLB. The starting pitching is leading this assault, as they have given up just four earned runs in their 33 1/3 innings so far. This has led to them having a combined 4-1 record.
The only starter this season that has not allowed a run is Sonny Gray. Gray's first start of the season was against the Royals, where he gave up three hits and four walks in five innings, not yielding a run and getting the win. The only concerning aspect of the game for Gray was he only had one strikeout, but while the Royals were making contact, most of it was weak contact in the form of easy ground balls and lazy pop-ups. Today, Gray will get the start again, and in his ten career starts against the Astros, he is 4-4 with a 3.08 ERA.
For Gray to get the win today he is going to need some run support. So far this season that has come from Joey Gallo and Trevor Larnach. Gallo already has three home runs and seven RBIs. The power has been impressive, as all four of his hits on the season have gone for extra bases. The problem comes when he does not make contact. He has seven strikeouts on the year which also leads the team. Larnach has also been driving in runs, with six RBIs, a home run, and a triple on the season. He is also having the strikeout problem though, tied with Gallo in that category. Today, if Gray pitches well, it may just come down to if the Twins can get their bats on the ball or not.
Final Astros-Twins Prediction & Pick
The Twins have been pitching well, but their bats have been a little bit of all or nothing. They have a team on-base percentage of .295, which is 22nd in MLB. They also only have 23 RBIs, which is 20th in baseball. A Majority of their runs scored have come off of home runs and extra-base hits, so manufacturing runs has been a struggle for the Twins. Still, their pitching will keep them in games and will keep them in this one. They get a few runs off Urquidy, including a home run, Gray will go six and only give up a run, and the Twins get the win.
Final Astros-Twins Prediction & Pick: Twins -1.5 (+158)