Astros vs Twins Odds, Picks Today | MLB Prediction & Betting Preview (Saturday, April 8)
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Twins pitcher Joe Ryan.
- The Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros meet in Saturday afternoon MLB action.
- The Twins enter as short favorites with Joe Ryan taking the mound against Luis Garcia.
- Check out Nick Martin's full betting preview and pick for Twins vs Astros below.
Astros vs Twins Odds
-106 / -114
-106 / -114
It’s been a slow start to the campaign for the defending champion Astros, who have put up the 24th-worst OPS en route to a record of just 3-5.
They will face another tough matchup Saturday and enter a slight underdog at -105 in a matchup versus Joe Ryan and the Twins.
Luis Garcia will make the start for Houston, looking to put a tough loss in his opening start against Chicago behind him.
Houston has struggled to click into gear offensively to start the 2023 season. It has slugged just .346, and batted .235 in the initial eight games. Alex Bregman and Jeremy Pena have struggled, in particular, batting .138 and .200, respectively. Both have been big concerns at the top of the order.
However, Houston’s still projects to be one of the top offences in baseball, and putting a ton of stock into a slow eight-game start for a proven lineup seems a little foolish.
FanGraphs projects it to score 4.64 runs per game the rest of the way, good for the fourth-best mark in the league.
The Astros’ 26th-worst barrel per PA is concerning, but their .318 xwOBA is still middle-of-the-pack in what has clearly been an uninspired start from several key pieces.
Garcia was tagged for three earned runs in five innings in his opening matchup versus Chicago, and he gave up seven hits from a .439 xSLG rating. Garcia’s four-seamer velocity sat one MPH below his 2022 average in that start.
ZiPS, Steamer and The Bat are all projecting an ERA of 4.17 or higher from Garcia this season, which is a solid drop-off from his 3.72 mark in 2022 that came with an xFIP of 3.82.
Garcia owned a ground ball average of .129 with runners on base in 2022, which was one of a couple of marks that helped lead to a somewhat overachieving season.
Keeping an eye on Garcia’s first few starts will prove especially interesting, as he’s one of the pitchers who is most impacted by the new rules considering his previous pace and lengthy delivery.
Despite moving away from American League batting champion Luis Arraez, the Twins should still project to have a solid offensive core in 2022 if their top names can stay healthy. That’s a big if, as Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton are the two most crucial pieces.
Minnesota is projected for 4.34 runs per game this season, per FanGraphs, which would make it a slightly above-average club offensively.
The Twins hit right-handed pitching considerably more effectively in 2022 with a 109 wRC+ rating, compared to a wRC+ of 101 in splits versus left-handed pitching.
Ryan pitched six strong innings against Kansas City to kick off what should be a very promising campaign for the 26-year-old righty.
Ryan allowed just three hits and two walks but was hit hard 53.3% of the time in the contest. His stuff rated quite well compared to a season ago, including a 114 Stuff+ rating on his new look sweeper in specific.
Most projections set Ryan finishing with an ERA between 3.70 and 4.25 in 2023.
Astros vs Twins Betting Pick
Houston’s high-powered offense has shown cause for concern in the early going, but it’s still very early in the season, and at this point, it seems fair to assume players like Bregman will click into gear soon.
Making some assumptions based on the Astros’ priors, it’s very fair to say their lineup should still make for a tough matchup for Ryan, who’s getting a lot of respect considering the prices in this contest.
Minnesota could prove to be an upper-third offense as well and should make for a tough matchup at home versus Garcia especially if he struggles and trends toward being a slightly-less-dominant option.
Despite this being a battle between two notably strong starters, I still believe four runs at -105 projects to be slightly too low of a total for the opening five innings considering how these two strong offenses match up.
Pick: F5 Over 4 Runs (-105)
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