MLB Baseball Picks and Parlays: Twins and Astros Start Three-Game Set
Minnesota Twins starts the second half of their season with a trip to Houston. The Astros are currently holding down the best record in the American League after an incredible first half.
The Twins were one of the surprise teams of the first half and probably benefited more than most from the All-Star break. It would give them a chance to rest and regroup with the hope of getting off to a hot start going forward.
The Twins record as it stands is 45-43 and they are a half game up on the Royals for second place in the AL Central. Minnesota historically has lost at least 90 games in six of the past seven years. Getting that monkey off their back with their younger players at the core of the team is key and that’s why stringing together some early second half wins is really important for this team.
They were 5-5 in July after ending June losers of four out of five. Their last series was a four-game split with the Orioles. In those ten games, the Twins finished third in scoring in the AL averaging 5.4 RPG. The pitching was 12th with a 5.73 ERA.
Houston Astros had six players elected to the All-Star game, three hitters and three pitchers. They entered the break on a hot streak with their incredible offense leading the way. The Astros finished July with a 6-2 record and they also went 8-3 to end June for a 14-5 record in their last 19.
The offense has been head and shoulders above the pack in July, averaging 9.75 RPG in eight games and the pitching has a 3.99 ERA for the month, good for fourth in the league.
Jose Berrios (8-2, 3.53 ERA) is having an excellent second season after struggling mightily last year. The 23-year old had been carrying an ERA under three for most of the year, before he appeared to run out of gas towards the break. He allowed 12 runs over 17.1 innings in his last three starts and the Twins lost two of three.
Charlie Morton (6-3, 3.82 ERA) missed six weeks with injury, but returned last Friday night in the Astros 12-2 thrashing of the Blue Jays. He looked sharp, allowing just one run on four hits over six innings of work.
- Minnesota is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Minnesota’s last 15 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 6 games when playing Houston
- Houston is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Houston’s last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Houston’s last 7 games at home
Cash It In: The Astros are -168 favorites, the Twins +144 underdogs. With all those key players missing out on the break, Houston might be vulnerable in this one. I think Berrios is one of those Twins to really benefit from the days off and will come back firing on all cylinders. Twins 3-2.