Houston Astros lefty Framber Valdez has been a quality start machine, and he’s on the mound Wednesday night against the visiting Minnesota Twins in what could be a playoff preview. The Astros are heavy favorites on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Twins at Astros MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Minute Maid Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Dylan Bundy/Framber Valdez
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Astros -200, Twins +190 (total 7.5)
Why Bet on Minnesota?
All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton left Monday’s game with right hip tightness and may be out a while. He has notably avoided the IL all together for the first time since 2016, with the Twins carefully treating him before games and monitoring his usage to ensure that he can be out there for them, more often than not. The 28-year-old has 28 homer this season.
Manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton hasn’t been in a good spot physically for the past few days but has continued to play, albeit not at 100%. The hip issue isn’t new; Buxton missed several weeks early in 2021 with a hip strain and has also managed discomfort there for most of this season, along with his knee.
Injured catcher Ryan Jeffers could be cleared to start catching bullpen sessions as soon as Friday. Jeffers has been sidelined since undergoing surgery July 20 to repair an avulsion fracture in the joint of the thumb on his throwing hand. He’s hopeful that he’ll be ready to start a minor-league rehab assignment in the middle of September before returning from the 10-day injured list before the end of the month, which would allow him to get a few games under his belt prior to a potential playoff run.
Outfielder Kyle Garlick was to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul on Wednesday. Garlick is hoping to be activated during the Twins’ next home stand which begins this weekend. He’s been out since late July with a rib cartilage fracture. Fellow outfielder Trevor Larnach has progressed to taking live at-bats and sprinting at full intensity. Larnach underwent a bilateral core surgical repair procedure back in late June that was expected to keep him out for roughly two months. There’s optimism that he’ll be ready to return sometime in September.
This series is a return to Houston for Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, who’s playing in his first games at Minute Maid Park since departing the Astros via free agency this offseason. The former #1 overall selection in the 2012 draft, Correa spent his first seven seasons (2015-21) in an Astros uniform, playing in 752 regular season games and another 79 in the postseason.
It’s Dylan Bundy on the mound here. Bundy (7-5) gave up one earned run on two hits and a walk while striking out two over 5.1 innings to earn the win in a 2-1 victory over the Rangers last Friday. Bundy found success by leaning heavily on his off-speed offerings and pitching to contact. Only 28 of the 71 pitches he threw were fastballs. Bundy also benefited from errorless defensive support which helped him to notch his seventh win in 21 starts this season despite not having gone six innings in a start since June 24. The 29-year-old right-hander has a 4.60 ERA and 1.23 WHIP this season.
Bundy has now pitched to a 3.59 ERA in his past 11 starts, dating back to June 18, shoring up the back end of the Twins’ rotation despite his slow start to the season.
“Some of the other starts, maybe [Bundy] would fall into patterns of just throwing strikes all the time,” Baldelli said. “It’s very unusual for us to be saying that about a guy throwing that many strikes. But being able to take advantage of all the great ways that he can spin, and back the ball up with the split-change or whatever he calls the pitch, being able to mix and match those pitches in the right way is a skill and art.”
Why Bet on Houston?Catcher Martin Maldonado’s $4.5 million team option for 2023 recently vested after he appeared in his 90th game of the season. The $4.5 million price tag is somewhat steep if Maldonado were to move into a backup role in 2023, but the Astros have thus far shown no inclination to reducing the 36-year-old’s playing time, even after acquiring fellow catcher Christian Vazquez from Boston earlier this month. Though Maldonado owns a lowly .181 batting average and .245 on-base percentage for the season, he’s popped 12 home runs and receives high praise for his game calling, pitch framing and ability to control the running game.
Third baseman Alex Bregman has not made an error in his last 34 games, handling 89 total chances in that span. For the season, he is second among qualified MLB third baseman in fielding percentage (.981), trailing only Toronto’s Matt Chapman (.984). Bregman has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball in August, hitting .357 with eight doubles, five homers and 17 RBIs.
It’s lefty Framber Valdez (12-4) on the mound. Valdez (12-4) earned the win over the White Sox last Wednesday, completing seven innings and allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six batters.
Valdez was tagged for a pair of runs in the fourth inning, but he was otherwise able to keep Chicago off the scoreboard. He didn’t have his best stuff — he walked three batters and allowed at least one baserunner in six of his seven frames — yet he succeeded by keeping the ball on the ground, inducing three double plays. Valdez ended up with his 20th straight quality start, tying the franchise record set by Mike Scott in 1986.
Valdez is the fifth pitcher since 2000 to record 20 consecutive quality starts. Jacob deGrom recorded 26 from 2018-19 for the Mets, Jake Arrieta had 24 from 2015-16 for the Cubs, Chris Carpenter had 22 in 2005 for the Cardinals and Johan Santana had 21 in 2004 for the Twins.
“I kind of wish we’d quit counting ’cause that keeps the pressure on him,” Manager Dusty Baker said. “Just go out there and give us what you have, Framber. He knows how to get out of trouble. Sometimes, he knows how to get in trouble. The key is, he knows he can throw up a ground-ball double play. His curveball was really good early in the game, then lost it and found it again.”
- Twins are 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Twins are 4-11 in their last 15 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Astros are 38-14 in their last 52 home games.
- Astros are 92-43 in their last 135 vs. American League Central.
- Under is 8-3-1 in the last 12 meetings.
- Astros 6, Twins 3