The June 13th Astros at Twins contest is a rubber match, as the teams have split their 3-game series thus far. Houston took a 6-4 victory on Friday, while Minnesota evened things up 5-2 on Saturday night behind 7.0 IP of 2 ER ball from Jose Berrios.
Houston would seem to have the pitching advantage in Sunday’s series finale, sending Framber Valdez (2-0, 1.47 ERA) to the bump after striking out 18 and allowing just 2 ER in his last two starts. Can Minnesota steal one as the Astros wrap up a 9-game road swing? The Twins are +130 underdogs as they counter with Michael Pineda (3-3, 3.46 ERA), who has allowed 2 ER or less in 4 of his last 6 starts. Houston is the -149 favorite in this matchup.
Astros On a Nice Run
Houston wraps up a 9-game road trip East of the Mississippi on Sunday, but they’ve gone a respectable 5-3 so far. The Astros have won four straight following a loss, and are 4-1 in their last 5 Sunday games. Houston is also just 2-5 in their last 7 road games vs. a RH starter however.
Despite their recent struggles vs. RH pitching, one would have to think Houston has a great chance to put up some runs in the June 13th Astros at Twins contest. Michael Brantley is on a tear with 8 hits in his last 15 AB, while Jose Altuve has 4 HR in the last 6 games. Carlos Correa is also 10-18 (.556) with 3 HR in his career vs. Pineda.
Houston also has some solid value with Valdez on the hill. The left-hander seems to be fully back from a fractured ring finger, throwing 7.0 and 7.1 IP in his last two starts. Valdez replaced Zack Greinke in game 1 of last year’s wild card series against the Twins and tossed 5 scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Any Incentive for Twins?
Bettors don’t know what they’re going to get from the Twins on a daily basis, as Minnesota has dug themselves a pretty deep hole going 14 GB from the White Sox in the AL Central. The Twins did look good behind Berrios in getting the win on Saturday night as +104 underdogs, but are just 3-7 over their last 10 and are 10-21 in their last 31 vs. a team with a winning record.
The Twins were powered by Jorge Polanco in Saturday’s win, as he was 3-5 with a HR and 3 RBI. Polanco had a 2 HR game on Wednesday vs. the Yankees, and now has 6 RBI in his last three starts. Willians Astudillo has gone deep in one of his two career ABs vs. Valdez, and Andrelton Simmons has 2 HR in 16 career appearances vs. the Astros starter.
The big x-factor in Sunday’s game for Minnesota is Pineda. He has only lasted a total of 7.1 IP in his last two starts, but is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 7 starts at Target Field this season. That’s compared to a 1-2, 5.40 ERA line in three road outings this season.
June 13th Astros at Twins Free Pick
Can Minnesota get to Valdez? It doesn’t look likely, as the Red Sox were stifled by the Astros starter in his last two outings. Pineda should be better at home though, and the Astros bats could come out a bit sleepy as they wrap up long road trip.
Twins 4 – Astros 3
Free Pick: Under 9.5