In the second of a four-game series between the Minnesota Twins (46-66) and the Houston Astros (57-55) at Target Field, Hector Santiago (10-5, 4.37 ERA) and Mike Fiers (7-5, 4.34 ERA) get the ball. The Twins won the last game 3-1, and Minnesota leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 8:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 9 and will air on RTSW and FSN.
In his last start, Santiago pitched 5.0 innings, allowing four runs, striking out four and walking two in a 9-2 loss to the Indians. The Astros were also unsuccessful the last time Fiers pitched. He had a good outing, pitching 6.0 innings, giving up two runs and striking out seven in a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays. Jose Altuve (.356, 80 Rs, 19 HRs, 67 RBIs, 25 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Astros, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one RBI.
Minnesota, a +106 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against Houston. The teams combine to set the Over/Under (O/U) at eight runs. The Twins are 35-52 as the underdog and have an overall money line of -1,056. They are 6-2 as the underdog over their last 10 games. Minnesota has averaged 6.5 runs per game over the last 10 games, higher than its season average of 4.6. The Twins rank fifth in the majors in extra base hits with 369.
Switching to the opposing dugout, the Astros come into this game with a win percentage of .506 when playing as the favorite (41-40) and an overall money line of -1,050. They have played poorly when rated as favorite as of late. They managed a 2-5 record when playing as the favorite and a SU record of 2-8. During the last 10 games, they averaged 2.3 runs per game, below their 4.3 season average. Houston is a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in the MLB with 80 stolen bases. Houston's pitching staff and defense as a whole have been firing on all cylinders so far, averaging an AL-best 4.0 runs allowed per game. The Houston pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.7 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Fiers (RHP) on the mound against the Twins, who have a 14-26 home and 30-51 overall record when they take on a right-handed starter. The left-handed Santiago will take the mound against the Astros, who have a 15-20 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
Minnesota has won 51% (25-24) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Houston has won 55% (28-23) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Astros are going to have to step it up if they want to win this matchup. The Twins have a 10-1 record in games where opponents scored one run or less.
When they are outhit, the Twins are 8-54. The Astros have a 9-49 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling in the top half of the league based on total home runs this season, Minnesota ranks 15th with 133 homers and Houston is 13th with 134.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.29 per game. Minnesota ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 8.89.
Ranking 19th, Houston is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.727). Minnesota ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .753.
When the Astros allow at least one home run, they are 35-34. When the Twins allow one or more homers, they have a 33-54 record.