The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins played in a tight one yesterday, but it was the dominant pitching of the Astros that was too much for the Twins. The ‘Stros rode the hot arm of Justin Verlander to edge out Lance Lynn, 2-0. Verlander gave up just 4 hits on the night, along with only 1 walk. JV is setting himself up for a big year, his first fulltime with the Astros. Verlander came along late last season and aided the Astros to a World Series. The Astros will have the benefit of having him in their back pocket all of 2018. He’s the guy who put them over the edge a year ago, and their investment should continue to pay off this season.
The Astros have gotten off to a nice 9-2 start. It’s no surprise that the Astros are playing good ball. However, some people may have anticipated a bit of a hangover to open the season. That certainly hasn’t been the case, especially from a pitching standpoint. The rotation and bullpen has been tremendous for the Astros, allowing only 1 run in their last three games. In their last five, they’ve surrendered just 1.4 runs per game. Dallas Keuchel will look to keep it going for the Astros tonight. Newly acquired Jake Odorizzi will make his third start as a Twin in this one. Odorizzi spent five years in Tampa and enjoyed decent success, but was buried on a losing team in Tampa Bay. Head below for our free Astros vs. Twins pick.
Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins Pick
Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 3.27 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 2.61 ERA)
Keuchel will make his third start of the season as well. With the addition of Verlander, and as well as he’s been pitching, Keuchel has sort of assumed the backseat in Houston. Verlander has taken on an ace role and everyone is almost forgetting the Astros have another ace on the roster. In any event, Keuchel has been with the Astros since 2012, spending his entire career in Houston so he is still the face of the franchise. Keuchel arrived in the majors when this team was a bunch of misfits playing at the back of the league. He’s been with the ‘Stros through thick and thin. Keuchel was a large reason why they won last season. He posted an ERA of 2.90, along with some clutch performances in the postseason.
He owns a 3.27 ERA through his first couple starts to the year. Keuchel was impressive in his last start, allowing just 1 earned run against the Orioles. For the most part, you know what you’re going to get with on the bump. He has off days, like every pitcher, but he’s one of the most reliable in the majors. His opponent today, Jake Odorizzi, was flawless in his debut with the Twins. He shut the Orioles down, allowing just 2 hits and 0 runs. The Pirates were able to get to him a bit in his next outing, as he gave up 5 hits and 3 runs in 4.1 innings of work. This will be his debut at home with the Twins. He gets a challenge against Keuchel and the Astros. It may look pricey, but you’re not going to find Keuchel at this price very often. I would look at the Astros on Tuesday for a unit play.