Lance McCullers (5-5, 3.21 ERA) and the Houston Astros (74-61) meet Ervin Santana (3-4, 5.40 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (69-65) in the second of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 8-0 and Houston leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sep. 5 and will air on FSN, RTSW and MLBN.
In his most recent outing, McCullers pitched 6.0 innings, giving up three runs, striking out six and walking four in a 7-5 loss to the Twins. George Springer (.264, 44 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. The Twins were victorious over the Astros 7-5 the last time Santana pitched. He went 7.0 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out 10.
Houston, a -169 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Minnesota. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Astros have a 43-33 record and overall money line at +553. The Astros are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 100 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Houston's pitching staff can be considered for best in its league, with an AL-low 3.30 team ERA. The Astros are second in the league in WHIP at 1.18. An area where the Astros are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 7.8 K's per game.
Across the field, the Twins have a record of 53-53 when they are the underdog and are +1,913 overall with the money line. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 7-3 SU and have played well as the underdog with a 6-2 record.
This game will feature Santana (RHP) on the mound against the Astros, who have a 47-40 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Twins will be the right-hander McCullers. They sport a 44-43 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Minnesota, the Astros now have 13 shutouts this season. The Twins have been shut out in eight games this season.
The Astros are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Twins have a 14-28 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Twins are 14-56. The Astros have a 13-43 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 17th in home runs, Minnesota has hit 127 this season. Houston ranks second with 182 home runs.
Houston and Minnesota both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Houston sits at 15th with 8.12 hits per game and Minnesota ranks 13th with 8.35.
Ranking 23rd, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.705). Houston ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .732.
The Twins are 37-51 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Astros are 26-42 when they allow at least one homer.