The Astros will face the Twins for the second of a three-game series tonight at Minute Maid Park. Despite losing 7-5 in 10 innings yesterday, the Houston has been looking frisky lately, including a go-ahead grand slam courtesy of Jose Altuve in yesterday's loss and a seven home-run game on Sunday, which set a single-game home run record at the Oakland Coliseum.
The Astros are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Twins are 4-6.
It’s true that this matchup should be a close one. These two pitching staffs are the best in baseball. The Astros rank first with an ERA of 3.21, while the Twins are a close second with an ERA of 3.44.
Joe Ryan gets the start for the Twins, and he has been fantastic to start the season, pitching to a 2.21 ERA and a 7-1 record. The only real weakness for Ryan is the fact that he allows too many hard hits and his average exit velocity allowed is in the bottom half of the league. That could spell trouble vs. Yordan Alvarez.
Brandon Bielak gets the start at home for the Astros, and the reliever-turned-starter, who is taking the place of Jose Urquidy in the rotation, has been decent this season with a 3.55 ERA.
Minnesota has the pitching advantage, but Houston has the bats. The Astros have averaged 5.43 runs per game across the past week of play, while the Twins have averaged only four. With Altuve back at the top of the lineup and Alvarez, who leads the league with 37 RBIs and a 1.447 OPS with runners in scoring position, I am taking the home team on the moneyline in what should be another close game.