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The Minnesota Twins are taking on the Houston Astros in the first game of a three-game series. These teams last faced each other in May, with the Astros sweeping them.
The Twins are having a decent season with their 62-58 record. They are sitting 2.5 games out of the third Wild Card spot and 1.5 games out of first place in the AL Central. Luckily for Minnesota, they are in baseball’s weakest division and could take first place even if they are not far above .500.
The Astros are having another incredible season. Their 78-45 record is the best in the American League and the third-best in baseball. Houston has a very comfortable 11.5-game lead over the Seattle Mariners in the AL West.
The Twins lost their last game against the Texas Rangers 2-1. They scored the first run in the fourth inning; Nick Gordon doubled in Gio Urshela to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. However, the Rangers tied it up in the top of the fifth when Adolis Garcia crushed a 453-foot home run to left field. Corey Seager gave the Rangers the lead in the sixth with a single that sent in Brad Miller. Sonny Gray pitched well for the Twins in his start. He only gave up two runs in six innings. However, he did not receive run support and was saddled with the loss, his fourth of the year.
The Astros beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 in their previous game. Houston got off to a tough start, with starting pitcher Jose Urquidy giving up two runs in the first inning. He settled down, though, and his offense scored two runs in the third; Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run single that sent in Mauricio Dubon and Chas McCormick. The score stayed tied at two until the eighth inning. Houston scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth to give themselves a 5-4 lead. Ryan Pressly was sent in to get the save but struggled more than usual. He gave up two runs but struck out Michael Harris II to end the game. Jose Urquidy got his 12th win, and Pressly got his 25th save.
The Twins have lost their last three games and are facing the Astros at home, so I have to pick Houston to win. Houston has not been playing amazing baseball for the last week, but they are sending ace Justin Verlander to the mound and have a stronger lineup (even with Jose Altuve’s injury).
Justin Verlander has not won a Cy Young since 2019 but is in contention this year at 39 years old. The righty from Virginia is a force on the mound and tied for the most wins in baseball with 15. He also has a 1.95 ERA (the lowest in baseball) and a 0.88 WHIP (the third-lowest in baseball). In case that was not enough, he also is going deep into games and averaging 6.5 innings a start.
It is unclear who Minnesota is sending to the mound tonight. However, the Twins do not have any pitchers that match up to Verlander. Play it safe and bet on the Astros.
The over/under for this game comes in at 7.5 runs. This is a pretty low over/under, but I have to choose the under.
You can always count on the Astros to run up the score. They average almost 4.6 runs per game and will probably not be facing an incredible Twins pitcher. I expect them to score five runs on their way to victory.
The Twins also have a solid offense and average 4.4 runs per game. With that being said, they are facing Justin Verlander and the Astros’ elite bullpen. I expect them to score two runs. Bet on the under.
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|Twins||Josh Winder||SP Day-to-Day|
|Twins||Matt Canterino||SP Day-to-Day|
|Twins||Kyle Garlick||LF 10-Day IL|
|Twins||Trevor Larnach||LF 10-Day IL|
|Twins||Alex Kirilloff||LF 10-Day IL|
|Twins||Ryan Jeffers||C 10-Day IL|
|Twins||Tyler Mahle||SP 15-Day IL|
|Astros||Jose Altuve||2B Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Drew Gilbert||CF Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Jaime Melendez||SP Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Pedro Leon||SS Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Freudis Nova||SS Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Matthew Barefoot||CF Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Jairo Solis||SP Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Blair Henley||RP Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Austin Hansen||SP Day-to-Day|
|Astros||Aledmys Diaz||LF 10-Day IL|
Even though the Twins are considerably worse than the Astros, I expect them to fight in this game. I would watch out for Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez. Polanco has been hitting the ball surprisingly well this season. He has 15 home runs, 55 RBIs, and 61 walks. Arraez is a little bit less flashy than Buxton and has become Minnesota’s most valuable hitter. His 4.0 WAR, .327 average, .391 on-base percentage, and 134 hits lead the twins.
I would look out for Yordan Alvarez for the Astros. The 2022 All-Star is having the best season of his career and has crushed 31 home runs and 79 RBIs this season. Do not be surprised if he sends one over the fence tonight.
Bet on the Astros’ moneyline, Astros to cover the spread, and on the under.
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|Minnesota Twins vs Houston Astros Information|
|What||Minnesota Twins vs Houston Astros|
|Where||Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas|
|When||Tuesday, August 23, 8:10 PM EST|
|How to Watch||MLB.TV, MLB Extra Innings, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports North|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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