Going for the sweep, the Minnesota Twins (6-2) will host the Houston Astros (3-6) in the finale of a three-game series on Easter Sunday. This game will be played at Target Field, with first pitch scheduled for 2:10 pm ET.
The Twins are slight favorites in this one playing at home. They are -110 to win, while the Astros’ moneyline sits at -106. Almost a pick’em game, the runline sits at Minnesota +1.5 (-188), and the over/under for total runs is eight (-110).
Houston Astros Struggling To Open The Season
The defending World Series champs have gotten off to a slow start this season, and this series has been no different. They set a dubious club record in their last two games against Minnesota, combining for 33 strikeouts over the last two games. Houston will try to break through and salvage the series’ final game on Sunday.
While many players are struggling offensively, Yordan Alvarez is one of the few players having success. On Saturday, he hit a 116-mph laser out to right field for a grand slam. The big slugger is now hitting .310/.400/.655 with three home runs, 14 runs batted in, and six runs scored.
Kyle Tucker has also done well. In 32 at-bats, he is hitting .281/.395/.625 with three home runs, eight runs batted in, and four runs scored. Aside from these two, the team has struggled as they rank tied for 16th in scoring, averaging 4.50 runs per game.
Taking the mound for the Astros on Sunday will be rookie Hunter Brown. In his lone start of the season, the 24-year-old righty gave up four earned runs on six hits and three walks to the Detroit Tigers in a no-decision. He had five strikeouts in the contest.
Twins Off To A Fast Start This Season
While the Astros have been scuffling, the Minnesota Twins have gotten off to a fast start this season. They are 6-2 overall and currently sit atop the AL Central by a game. They would love to pick up a sweep of the Astros to finish their opening home series.
The Twins took down Houston 9-6 on Saturday, primarily due to 12 hits and home runs from Kyle Farmer and Byron Buxton. Joe Ryan also picked up the win after giving up four runs on three hits over six innings while also striking out 10.
28-year-old righty Tyler Mahle will take the ball for Rocco Baldelli’s club in the finale. He was solid in his first start of the season, giving up just one run and striking out seven over five innings in a win over the Miami Marlins.
In terms of scoring defense, the Twins sit atop the rankings, allowing just 1.86 runs per game this season. At the plate, the Twins rank 22nd in scoring, averaging 3.86 runs per game. Sunday will be the first time anyone on the Twins will face off against the Astros’ Hunter Brown.
Hard To Bet Against The Twins
The Astros have only played nine games, but it is easy to see how much they miss Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley. Not only does their offense seem out of sync, but they have been unable to manufacture runs, relying mainly on the home run. All six of their runs Saturday came off of home runs.
As for the Twins, they are getting fantastic production from their pitchers, and their offense has been doing enough to get the job done.
Houston will need a big performance from Hunter Brown to save an already-taxed bullpen, but it seems more likely that the Twins will keep the pressure on and win this one outright.
Take Minnesota straight up at -110.