The Minnesota Twins are feeling pretty good after their performance yesterday against the Houston Astros. They went in as underdogs but came out as the winning team, as they dispatched the Astros by a score of 6-2. Martin Perez had a standout outing, allowing no runs across 8 innings of work and only 4 hits. I can’t remember Perez having many efforts like that in the past. He struggled mightily as a Ranger in a seven-year career in Texas.
The end of the line was in 2018 after he posted an ERA of 6.22 in 22 appearances. He ran out of chances and was finally given an opportunity at a second life in Minnesota. It’s gone well thus far, but it’s only May 2nd so don’t get too excited. If he keeps pitching at a respectable level like this, it’s going to go a long way in bouncing the Indians in the AL Central.
Speaking of the Indians, a window just opened up for the Twins because of a major injury last night. Corey Kluber took a line drive right off the arm and ended up with a fracture. That could take Kluber out of the rotation for a considerable amount of time, leaving the door even open wider in the AL Central for the Twins to capitalize. The Twins moved up to 18-10 on the season, while the Astros slipped to 18-13 following last night’s final score.
The Twins now have a 2.5-game lead on the Indians after Cleveland fell to the lowly Miami Marlins a night ago. Caleb Smith pitched a gem, while Kluber was wobbly before getting taken out for good with the fracture to his arm. The Twins will move on looking to make it three wins in four days over the Astros. They will hand the ball to Jose Berrios to try and do just that. Conversely, the Astros are expected to go with Brad Peacock on the bump. Head below for our free Astros vs. Twins pick.
Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Jose Berrios was identified as being a potential breakout candidate at the start of the 2019 season. A month later, he’s on pace for the best season of his career. There’s always a disclaimer, though, and in May it’s best to pay attention to it because of how early it is. In his fourth season as a major league pitcher, Berrios is on the heels of a year in which he tossed an ERA of 3.84 in 2018.
That was his best season yet after getting a little better after a 3.89 ERA in 2017. This season is supposed to be when he turns into an All-Star. If he can improve on his ERA of 2.97 just a little more, he is going to see plenty of votes.
Berrios has been a force at home with an ERA of 1.77, 0.74 WHIP, and perfect mark of 3-0. He has mowed down hitters, allowing just 4 runs in 20.1 innings of work in Minnesota. Berrios hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in any start at home so far.
Brad Peacock will do his best to try and salvage a split in Minnesota today. The bullpen member turned starting pitcher, has done a pretty nice job in his new role. Peacock had 61 appearances as a reliever last season with 60 of them coming out of the pen. However, with Charlie Morton off to the Rays and Dallas Keuchel demanding more money, an opening developed for Peacock to become a fulltime member of the rotation.
He’s done well with a 3.76 ERA so far, but how much can his arm take? He’s not used to going a full season. Peacock was on point in his last outing, as he shut down the Indians for only 1 run in 6 innings. That said, Peacock owns an ERA of 5.06 and 1.38 WHIP in his previous three outings.
The Twins are hitting .263 with a .311 OBP against Peacock in 57 at-bats. Max Kepler and Jason Castro have both hit home runs off him. The Twins are a better team than the media is advertising. They don’t get much attention, but have compiled a quality team that can certainly takeover the AL Central. Berrios is flying under the radar as well and I think he can get some attention today against the ‘Stros. The Twins at home look like a decent play behind the arm of Berrios.