Twins vs Astros MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Bet Against Struggling Minnesota Offense (Thursday, August 25)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Miranda
- The Astros are strong home favorites tonight against the Twins.
- Luis Garcia takes the bump for Houston, while Minnesota will counter with Chris Archer.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Twins vs. Astros Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Something’s got to give on Thursday night when the Twins and Astros — two teams with three wins in their last five games — wrap up a three-game set. Houston has taken the first two here and will be out for the sweep with Luis Garcia on the bump.
Can the Twins hit back here, or are they up against it with Chris Archer starting this game? Let’s dig into it.
Which Archer Will Twins Get?
The Twins’ starting pitcher on Thursday has had a truly bizarre season. Archer racked up a 1.67 ERA in six June starts, posted an 11.74 ERA in two July starts and has settled back in with a 3.93 ERA in four August starts.
He’s had some bad outings — such as his start against the Astros in May where he allowed five runs in three innings on five hits and three walks — and he’s also had some nice ones — like his last outing against the Rangers which saw him surrendered a run on three hits over five.
The surrounding numbers for Archer have been rather unsettling. He’s done a good job of bringing his ground ball rate up near league average, but he hasn’t done so nearly enough. His barrel rate sits at 8.8% an his hard-hit rate at a very high 43% — almost 8% higher than league average.
It’s not as if his expected batting average or slugging are catastrophic, but with an 11.3% walk rate and a 20.5% strikeout rate, it’s easy to see why his expected ERA is 4.69.
Unfortunately for the Twins, their offense continues to be stuck in mediocrity. They’re down in 21st when it comes to wRC+ over the last two weeks, which is not a sight that’s unfamiliar. Their ISO is a meek .106 which sits unassumingly next to some average strikeout and walk numbers.
Garcia Solid For Astros
The Astros are ripping the ball right now, posting a third-best 130 wRC+ in the last two weeks with a very, very low 18.9% strikeout rate. They’re hitting a league-best .292 over that span with a solid 10.8% hard-hit rate and 8.8% barrel rate.
There’s a reason they’ve averaged over four runs per game over the last three.
Luis Garcia has been perfectly above-average for the Astros and should provide them yet another opportunity to win. While the 25-year-old has pitched to a 4.09 ERA, his 3.52 xERA indicate he’s got things well under control. He’s been 3% better than league average in the strikeout department with a better-than-average walk rate and a low .356 xwOBA on contact.
Simply put, it’s been hard to get baserunners off of this guy, and a .225 xBA is the icing on the cake.
Garcia’s biggest issue has been giving up solid contact on his four-seam fastball, which was hit to a .301 batting average last year and has been hit at a .288 clip this season. With that said, his expected batting average on the pitch has dipped from .298 last season to .263 this year, which is perhaps the biggest reason for his improved numbers.
The Twins surprisingly rank ninth against fastballs this season in terms of weighted runs per 100 pitches, but in the second half they’re down in 22nd with -0.5 runs per 100 pitches. This is part of a larger issue which is that this team simply can’t hit right now.
Garcia should make quick work of the Twins, who I couldn’t have less faith in tonight. Instead of trying to figure out the perplexing Archer, I’m just going to play the team total here.
Pick: Twins Under 3.5 Runs (-120)
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