Mike Fiers (6-9, 3.62 ERA) takes the hill for the Houston Astros (71-58) after throwing a no-hitter in his most recent outing. They will square off against Mike Pelfrey (6-7, 3.69 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (66-62) in the second of a three-game series at Target Field. The Twins won the last game 3-0 and Minnesota leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 29 and can be seen on FSN and RTSW.
Pelfrey pitched 4.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs, striking out three and walking one in a 4-3 defeat to the Orioles. Fiers went 9.0 innings, surrendering zero runs, striking out 10 and walking three in a 3-0 win over the Dodgers in his last outing. George Springer (.264, 43 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one run and one stolen base.
Houston takes on Minnesota as a -145 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The Twins have an overall money line of +1,647 and a record as the underdog of 50-52. The Twins have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 6.0 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.3 runs per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, the Twins are the top team in the AL at limiting walks during home games, allowing only 2.2 walks per contest to their opponents this season.
In games where it is the favorite, Houston has a 41-29 record and an overall money line of +931. The Astros capitalize on their at-bats at a high percentage, leading the league with a .241 team batting average. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 97 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB. Houston's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 3.25 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Astros are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.17 for the season.
The Twins have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Twins have a 43-41 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Fiers takes the mound. Pelfrey (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 46-37 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Houston, the Twins now have 10 shutouts this season. The Astros have been shut out in nine games this season.
The Twins managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Astros who are coming in with a 36-18 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
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 11th with 8.42 hits per game and Houston ranks 15th with 8.07.
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.