I'm backing the Twins plus money odds against the Astros tonight. Yesterday I backed under the total but today there is good value on taking a good home team as our MLB pick in the underdog spot.
Across the board this game has the Houston Astros favored around -140 by MLB odds makers. That has put Minnesota from anywhere from +122 to +130 at most places. The best odds to take the Twins are at 5dimes where you can get them at +133, to me this is great value.
Mike Fiers gets the start for Houston and comes in with a 3.63 ERA, 1.29 whip, 146 strikeouts, and a 6-9 record. As most of you already know he is coming off a no-hitter against the Dodgers, but what you might not know is that in his last two starts he has not allowed a earned run. Still, his road numbers jump up a bit to an ERA of over 3.70 and batters hitting .266 against him. Also, he is not immune to getting knocked around a bit and in three of his last 10 starts he allowed 14 runs in just 16 innings pitched.
Houston ranks 12th in runs scored per game at 4.32, 12th in OPS at .727, and are tied for last in the major leagues in team batting average hitting .241. Their batting average goes up just a little bit on the road but most of their other offensive statistics go down. Also, they got shut out yesterday and one might think that puts them in a good bounce back, spot but it doesn't. Just like yesterday they're facing a really good right-handed pitcher who pitches exceedingly well at home.
Mike Pelfrey takes the mound for the Twins with a 3.69 ERA, 1.42 whip, 69 strikeouts, and a 6-7 record. He started out the season really well but in this second half of the season his numbers have gone up. Recently though he has been sharp allowing just nine earned runs in his last five starts. The key for him, much like Gibson yesterday, are his home numbers where he has a stellar 1.97 ERA and batters only hitting .225 against him. Expect him to have a quality start today against the Astros.
Minnesota ranks 10th in the majors in runs per game at 4.34, 20th in OPS at .704, and 21st in team batting average hitting .249. Just like Pelfrey's numbers at home the Twins offensive numbers significantly go up in Minnesota. Their batting average goes from .230 on the road to .269 at home and their OPS goes from under .700 to.755. There is not a lot more to grasp on this angle, Minnesota is just a really tough team to beat at home.
You can't take away that wonderful no-hitter that Fiers dealt his last time out. It was an impressive outing but I think pitching away from Houston and in Minnesota the day is going to be quite different for him. On the other side we have a starter in Pelfrey who thrives in front of the home fans. Good value on Minnesota in this spot, back the Twins.
MLB Pick: Twins +133 at 5Dimes