Astros Bats To Rebound In Series Finale Versus Twins

Jay Pryce

Sunday, July 16, 2017 4:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Jul. 16, 2017 4:00 PM UTC

The Twins held the top-scoring Astros to 2 runs or fewer for only the 15th time all season in Saturday's 4-2 win. The odds are favorable that Houston's batscome alive against Kyle Gibson in the series finale. Mike Fiers starts for the home team.

Minnesota Twins (46-44)

The Twins snapped a seven game skid to the Astros on Saturday with a 4-2 win behind Ervin Santana. The veteran right-hander held the Houston lineup to just two extra-base hits. Despite the masterful performance, the AL West leaders average a whopping 9.44 runs per game in the matchup over the last calendar year.

Kyle Gibson looks to replicate Santana’s outing as today’s starter. The former first-round selection is 5-7 with a 6.31 ERA in 16 appearances. Gibson allowed a season-high 7 earned runs on 9 hits in 4.0 innings last time out against the Orioles. The sinkerballer is floating his best pitch in the zone of late. Gibson is 1-3 in his last five decisions.

Despite Gibson’s recent struggles, he probably looks forward to the Houston matchup. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four career starts. None of the appearances have come after August 2015. Second baseman Jose Altuve is the only current player to record double-digit at-bats. The All-Star is 4-for-12 with a double and a RBI.

Gibson has squared off against a team averaging better than 4.75 runs per game on the road in the second half of the season six times in his career. He and the bullpen have allowed 6 runs or more in all but one. Houston’s 5.92 runs per game lead the majors.

The Twins are 4-17 SU behind Gibson all-time versus opponents with a 58.9 winning percentage or better. The Astros’ .670 mark tops the AL, nine wins better than the nearest competition (Red Sox).

 Houston Astros (61-30)

The Astros (-200) have been held to 2 runs or fewer just 15 times all season. The bats don’t stay cool for long. The team is 11-4 SU in its follow-up effort, scoring 6.47 runs on 10.47 hits per game.

Mike Fiers is looking for this kind of run support as he takes the pill for manager A.J. Hinch. Fiers is 5-4 with a 3.84 ERA in 93.2 innings. Bettors can expect some regression from the right-hander. Fiers owns a 5.30 FIP, ranking in the bottom 20 of MLB starters with 50 or more innings. His counterpart Gibson carries a 5.92 figure. The numbers suggest each team to hit the ball hard and often.

Houston is 17-9 SU all-time as home chalk behind Fiers, returning 8 percent profit at -157 average odds. Against foes with a winning record, the team is just 6-5 SU at -140 average odds.

The Astros are 11-6 SU at home in the third game and beyond of a series. The ‘over’ is 11-4-2 with the Houston lineup crossing the plate 6.0 times per tilt. The team is stretching opponent’s bullpens and taking advantage late in the series, scoring 2 or more runs against relief in 11 of the contests.

 Final Analysis

Look for Houston’s bats to rebound against a pitcher with plenty of red flags headed into this one. Good pitching is all the World Series contenders will need to put this one away. Fiers, who is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in his last five starts against the Twins, is doing a masterful job at keeping hitters honest of late. The right-hander has allowed one home run in his last eight starts. Astros on the run line is the pick.

Free MLB Pick: Astros -1.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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