The Houston Astros moved a step closer to securing their American League Division Series against Minnesota with a convincing 9-1 thrashing of the Twins on Tuesday. The teams will meet in Minneapolis for Game 4 today. Houston is now favored, and oddsmakers list them as favorites to win the AL pennant for a third straight year.
Houston scored often and early, and often and late, as they stacked up nine big runs and buried Minnesota as the Twins tried to win their first home playoff game in more than two decades. On Wednesday, the Twins will need to empty their bullpen if needed, as it will be “all hands on deck” in a must-win contest.
Astros vs Twins Series Schedule
- Game 1: Astros 6, Twins 4
- Game 2: Twins 6, Astros 2
- Game 3: Astros 9, Twins, 1
- Game 4: Astros at Twins, Oct. 11, 7:07 PM ET on FS1
- Game 5*: Twins at Astros, Oct. 13, on FOX/FS1
The Twins won the regular season series against the Astros, 4 games to 2.
BetMGM Series Winner Odds: Astros -400 | Twins +310
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Pitching Matchup for Game 4
José Urquidy (3-3, 5.29 ERA) vs Joe Ryan (11-10, 4.51 ERA)
Dusty Baker is showing the depth of his trust by handing the ball to Urquidy, who missed several months this season with an injury. Since he came back in August, Urquidy has been the odd man out in the Astros rotation.
The righty has made only four starts in the last two months, and only two of them were decent. Baker is banking that his gritty pitcher will rise to the occasion, and even if he doesn’t, he has Justin Verlander ready for Game 5 on Friday back in Texas.
The numbers tell a story about Joe Ryan, and it isn’t one that Twins fans will want to read. Ryan has seen his average pitches per start drop by 18% since late July, and his K-to-BB ratio has also fallen.
It seems he may be tiring, or maybe his arm is lagging. The Twins coaching staff should keep an eye on Ryan early, a first-inning hole can’t open up again in Game 4.
Twins vs Astros Best Bet & Game Pick
Consider this: Minnesota To Win and Total to be Over 7.5 Runs (+210 from DraftKings). We expect the Twins to force a Game 5. It feels like these Astros will need to prove they have what it takes to repeat at home on Friday.