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A potential playoff preview in the American League is set to unfold on Tuesday night, as the Houston Astros play host to the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota won the first game of this series in a thrilling extra-inning affair, and they have to like their chances as they send one of the league’s best pitchers to the mound in this contest. But the Astros have a lineup potent enough to render even the most talented arms useless when they are at the top of their game, and Houston will aim to use their offense to even this series on Tuesday night. Make sure you take a look at our best MLB sportsbooks before placing your bets.
The Minnesota Twins have taken advantage of a bad AL Central, sitting at the top of their division despite entering Tuesday just two games above .500 for the year. They moved to two games above .500 by beating the Houston Astros 7-5 in 10 innings on Monday night. On Tuesday, they send their ace to the mound as they look to win a second straight game over the defending World Series champions on the road.
Joe Ryan is an impressive 7-1 on the season for the Twins, posting an ERA of 2.21 in 61 innings of work. Minnesota has lost three of Ryan’s 10 starts on the year, but Ryan has consistently put them in winning positions throughout the season. That could be easier said than done against one of the best offensive teams in all of baseball.
In this game, the biggest key for Ryan will be his ability to keep the ball in the park against the Houston Astros lineup. Ryan has allowed just four home runs so far this season, averaging a home run allowed every 15 innings or so. If he can prevent the Astros from teeing off on him on Tuesday night, the Twins could steal another game in Houston and continue to impress during this road trip.
The Houston Astros are an impressive 31-22 on the season, but that has only been good for second place in the AL West so far this season. Houston trails the Texas Rangers by three games in the standings in that division coming into Tuesday. And they will need one of the best performances of the year from Brandon Bielak in order to outperform Joe Ryan and the Minnesota Twins.
Bielak is 1-2 on the season with an ERA of 3.55, though he has not had a scoreless outing in his five appearances for the season. A shutout performance from Bielak may be needed in this game for the Astros to keep up with the Twins and their starting pitching here. Either that, or the Astros will need to pile on the runs in order for them to make up for any mistakes that Bielak makes throughout this contest.
Offensively, the Astros have been clicking on all cylinders lately, which is huge going into a game against a Cy Young contender in Ryan. They have scored five or more runs in four straight games, even in last night’s extra-inning loss to the Twins. With Jose Altuve back in the mix for the Astros, Houston is as dangerous as they have been all season and will need every bit of their offense in this game.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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