- Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins predictions
Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins predictions
Pickswise's Expert Predictions & Analysis
Money Line Pick
Although the sample size is small, Framber Valdez has been one of the best starters on the Houston pitching staff. He comes into this matchup with a 1.47 ERA and a 0.837 WHIP in 18.1 innings this season. Valdez relies on a four pitch arsenal and so far his curveball has been his best pitch as the lefty has not allowed a hit against that pitch and has gotten a 50 percent whiff rate and a 43.6 percent putaway percentage. Valdez is striking out hitters 29.6 percent of the time this season which is a career high for the four year veteran and is walking hitters just 5.3 percent of the time which is also a career best after having a 15.6 percent walk rate in his first year. His offense continues to mash at the plate and in the last seven days before Saturday’s game, the Astros had a .326 batting average which was the best mark in the league. They sat Carlos Correa for rest Saturday and he is expected back in the lineup Sunday for the series finale.
If the Twins did not pull off the incredible comeback against Aroldis Chapman and the Yankees on Thursday night, they would have been swept by the struggling Yankees. Minnesota will send Michael Pineda to the mound and although he has a respectable 3.46 ERA, his last two starts have been his worst two of the season. In those two outings, Pineda allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 7.1 innings while only recording three strikeouts. He has been known to not get hit hard in his career, but this season he has the highest hard hit rate and barrel rate in his last seven seasons. With how consistent the Astros offense has been all season, take the visitors with confidence.
Game Totals Pick
If the Astros offense wasn’t one of the best in the league, this would be an easy decision. Valdez has looked dominant so far this season in his three starts and his success should continue against a struggling Twins offense. His four pitch arsenal has made opponents look silly at the plate this season and since he has already shut down some powerful offenses this season, he should be able to limit the Twins offense and then the surging Astros bullpen should be able to close the door on Minnesota. Take the under 9.5 in Minnesota.
* Under 9.5 line playable at time of publishing. Playable down to 9 *