Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins
First pitch: 5:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Collin McHugh (3-2, 4.78 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (3-0, 4.44 ERA)
Believe it or not, Perez has had Houston's number throughout his eight years in the big leagues, all of which prior to this season coming with the Texas Rangers. Hence the headline's conundrum-like question.
In 11 career starts against the Astros, the left-hander is 6-4 with a shiny 3.00 ERA. Furthermore, he's surrendered only five homers total in those 72 innings pitched.
At the same time, it seems Perez's quality numbers don't tell the full story. The Venezuelan native has registered only 47 K's compared to 25 walks in his meetings with Houston, and his 1.29 WHIP isn't pretty either.
Not only that, the Astros' six best hitters – Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and George Springer – are a combined 31-for-97 (.320) at the dish against Perez. They've been raking lefties like that in the early going as well, leading all of baseball in team batting average (.300) and OPS (.919) with a southpaw on the hill.
Also remember, it can only help our cause that Perez's former catcher all those years in Texas, Robinson Chirinos, is in the opposing batting order.
As for the other offense in this matchup, the Twins have actually boasted one of the league's more dangerous lineups. Minnesota's 50 home runs rank fourth in the game, while their .820 OPS as a team has them tied for first – interestingly, with the Astros.
If the AL Central-leading Twins can get to McHugh for at least a few runs, which seems more than possible, that may be all we need. With potential for one crooked number in the final score, the over is the play here. Play: OVER 9 (-110)
Yesterday's Result: Indians-Marlins Under 7 (loss)
Zylbert's 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 17-15-1, +0.1 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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