Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Baseball, MLB

The Houston Astros will play host to the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET and Fox Sports North will be televising this AL matchup.

Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Odds

Vegas has listed Minnesota (+205) as the underdog to Houston (-225). Gamblers can wager on the game’s total with odds sitting at +100 for over 8.5 runs and -120 for under 8.5. The game’s most recent runline odds stand at -105 for picking the Twins +1.5 runs and -115 for the Astros -1.5.

The Astros are 84-53 straight up (SU) and 68-68 against the spread (ATS). They’ve lost 13.1 units for moneyline bettors and 6.3 units (ATS). Houston has a 3-4 ATS record over its last seven games and the total has gone under in four of those seven. The Twins are 63-73 SU and have gone 70-65 ATS. In total, the team’s lost 10.2 units for gamblers taking the moneyline, but have gained 1.1 units ATS. Minnesota has covered the spread just twice over its last seven games and the under has cashed in four of those seven.

Houston games have had an over/under record of 60-69-7 in 2018. The Twins have an over/under record of 65-67-3.

Kyle Gibson will get the start for the visiting Twins. The right-handed Gibson is 7-11 with a 3.79 ERA and 153 strikeouts. He’s 0-0 with four strikeouts and a 10.38 ERA against Houston this year.

The Astros will turn to lefty Dallas Keuchel (10-10, 3.58 ERA), who has 130 strikeouts and 44 walks as well as a 1.26 WHIP. Keuchel is 0-1 with six strikeouts and a 6.75 ERA in one start against Minnesota this year.

As a unit, Houston’s pitchers have yielded 3.3 runs per game overall this year. Its starting pitching staff has an ERA of 3.20, a WHIP of 1.11 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 10.4. The bullpen has recorded a solid ERA of just 2.97, a WHIP of 1.04 and a K/9 of 10.7.

The Houston offense has put up 4.9 runs per contest, including 5.2 per game over its last 10 games and 3.6 per game over its last five. The team has hit .231/.326/.372 over its last five contests and is 3-2 SU during that span.

Third baseman Alex Bregman and second baseman Jose Altuve have led the charge for the Astros’ offense this year. Bregman is slashing .292/.392/.537 with 27 home runs, 88 RBIs and 92 runs scored, while Altuve is batting .321 with 10 homers, 51 RBIs, 69 runs and 15 steals.

In the visiting dugout, Minnesota’s pitching staff allowed 4.9 runs per game and its starters own a 4.60 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 8.27 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 4.61, along with a WHIP of 1.40 and a K/9 of 9.22.

The Twins offense has slashed .245/.316/.406 on its way to 4.4 runs scored per game this year, including 3.7 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 5.0 per game over the team’s last five outings (2-3 SU).

Outfielder Eddie Rosario and first baseman Joe Mauer continue to lead Minnesota’s offense. Rosario is hitting .292/.329/.484 with 22 home runs, 74 RBIs and 83 runs scored, while Mauer is slashing .278/.350/.379 with five homers, 39 RBIs and 49 runs scored.

The Twins have lost 4.2 units and are 20-18 ATS when facing a lefty starter this season. The over has hit in 16 of those games, compared to 21 that’ve gone under in such games. On the other hand, the Astros have lost 3.3 units and are 43-41 ATS when facing a righty starter. The over has hit in 36 of those games, compared to 43 that went under.

Minnesota Twins vs. Houston Astros Pick

Predictions: SU Winner – Astros, ATS Winner – Twins, O/U – OVER

Betting Notes

  • The over has cashed in three of Minnesota’s last seven games.
  • The Twins have hit 14 home runs in their last 10 games, including eight over their last five.
  • The Minnesota defense has allowed 13 errors over the last 10 games, compared to two errors for Houston over its last 10.
  • The Twins have dropped three of their last four games SU.