Ervin Santana (2-4, 6.05 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (66-62) meet Lance McCullers (5-4, 3.12 ERA) and the Houston Astros (71-58) in the last of a three-game series at Target Field. The Astros won the last game 4-1 and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game gets underway at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 30 and will air on FSN and RTSW.
In his last start, Santana pitched 2.2 innings, allowing five runs, striking out one and walking two in an 11-7 loss to the Rays. The Astros were unsuccessful to the Dodgers 3-2 the last time McCullers pitched. He went 7.0 innings, giving up two runs and striking out eight. George Springer (.264, 43 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one run and one stolen base.
Minnesota is a +120 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is eight runs. When playing as the underdog, the Twins have a 51-52 record and overall money line at +1,761. They are 7-3 as the underdog over their last 10 games. Minnesota has averaged 5.6 runs per game over the last 10 games, higher than its season average of 4.3.
On the other side, the Astros have a record of 41-30 when they are favored and are +807 overall with the money line. The Astros have racked up 97 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Shifting to the pitching staff, they have the lowest ERA in the AL at 3.25. They have a WHIP of 1.17 on the year, good for second in the league.
So far this season, the Twins are 1-0 against the Astros. The Twins will take on a right-hander (McCullers) in this game and have a 43-41 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Astros will be the right-hander Santana. They sport a 46-38 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
Minnesota earned its 10th shutout of the season in its last game. Houston has been shut out nine times this season.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Twins are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Astros have a 12-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Twins are 13-53. The Astros have a 13-42 record when opponents outhit them.
Minnesota ranks in the bottom half of the league at 16th when it comes to home runs, hitting 122 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at second with 174.
Minnesota and Houston both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Minnesota sits at 12th with 8.38 hits per game and Houston ranks 15th with 8.05.
Ranking 20th, Minnesota is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.706). Houston ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .728.
The Astros are 25-39 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Twins are 35-50 when they allow at least one homer.