Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins – MLB, September 29, 2020

By Admir Aljic in MLB
| September 29, 2020 12:03 am PDT

The first pitch of the 2020 MLB Playoffs is set for Tuesday, September 29, at 2:00 PM ET when the Houston Astros visit the Minnesota Twins in the opening contest of the best-of-three wild-card series.

The Twins retained the AL Central crown with a 36-24 record, clinching the No. 3 seed, while the 29-31 Astros finished second in the AL West and earned the No. 6 seed even though they have the worst record of all playoff teams in the American League. 

These two foes haven’t met each other since May 2019 when the Twins won a four-game set at home 3-1, so let’s see what the best Astros vs. Twins betting pick for their first meeting in 2020 is. 

Astros vs. Twins Odds

BET ODDS
Astros +1.5 -145
Twins -1.5 +125
Astros to Win +150
Twins to Win -163
Over 7.5 -105
Under 7.5 -115

After a solid start of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season, the Astros have struggled mightily over the last few weeks. They’ve lost 16 of their last 24 games overall including four of the previous five, and the Astros recorded two straight wins only twice in September.

On the other side, the Twins have won five of their previous seven contests. They’ve had a few ups and downs during the regular season, but the Twins fully deserved their home-field advantage in the ALWC.

Astros vs. Twins Preview

Despite all the offensive talent on their rosters, both Houston and Minnesota had a disappointing regular-season performance. The Astros were scoring 4.65 runs per game (14th in the majors) which was exactly the league average, while the Twins were tallying only 4.48 runs per contest (19th).

Interestingly, the Twins smacked 22 round-trippers more than the Astros (91-69) and still had 10 RBI fewer than their wild-card rivals.

The Astros will start Zack Greinke in Game 1, and the 36-year-old righty hasn’t impressed in the regular season. He went 3-3 with a 4.03 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 12 starts while posting a 67/9 K/BB ratio across 67 innings.

Greinke has allowed three or more earned runs in each of his previous seven starts. He’s 5-9 with a 4.64 ERA in 20 career starts and four relief appearances against the Twins, but Greinke hasn’t met Minnesota since 2017.

On the other side, Kenta Maeda will take the mound for the Twins in the opener. The righty went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 80/10 K/BB ratio in 11 starts this past regular season and was the brightest spot in the Twins’ rotation.

Maeda met the Astros only once, and it was a display he certainly wants to forget. Back in 2018, he was charged with a loss after yielding five earned runs on six hits and two walks in 5.1 frames of work.

The Twins’ relievers have the sixth-best ERA in the majors this year (3.62), while the Astros’ bullpen is 15th in the majors (4.39).

Astros vs. Twins Pick

The Astros are desperate to break out of their funk, but I don’t think that will happen in Game 1 of the ALWC. Zack Greinke is in a strange mood this year, while the Astros’ bullpen has been pretty shaky during the regular season.

The Twins have some serious offensive issues, but they still look like a better team on the plate than the Astros. Finally, they’ve won seven games more than the Astros, and the Twins will have a special motive in Tuesday’s clash.

And it’s not the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, as the Twins are riding a 10-game losing streak in the postseason.

Pick
  • Twins to Win
    -163

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