Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1:08 p.m. ET
Astros at Twins Betting Preview: Astros (money line odds TBA), Twins (money line odds TBA)
Sure, the Astros were clutch to rally for three runs in the ninth inning, but the MVP of Game 1 was left-hander Framber Valdez, who pitched five innings of scoreless relief. The standout performance followed four innings from Zack Greinke, who gave up just one run.
The bad news is that both Greinke and Valdez are done for the series, barring a completely surprising development. Houston will take it, though, after going 2-5 down the stretch and backing into the playoffs. As of Tuesday evening, manager Dusty Baker had not committed to a Game 2 starter.
Jose Altuve was a shadow of his former productive self this season but used his veteran savvy to work a full-count walk in the ninth to force home the go-ahead run. Michael Brantley added a two-run single as the Astros won a classic tight playoff game.
The Twins appear to be fighting more than the Astros as their playoff curse is getting plenty of attention. Minnesota lost its 17th consecutive postseason game, its last playoff win coming in Game 1 of the 2004 AL Division Series against the Yankees. The Twins will now lean into their home success after they went a major-league-best 24-7 in their own park in the regular season. Sunday and Tuesday marked the first time they lost consecutive games at home.
Minnesota had just four hits in Game 1, just two after the fourth inning. The bases were loaded with one out in the first inning, but Eddie Rosario lined out and Miguel Sano grounded out against Greinke.
The Twins will put their season in the hands of right-hander Jose Berrios (5-4, 4.00 ERA), who lost his final start of the season to the Reds (four runs in five innings) after winning his previous four decisions.
Astros at Twins Betting Pick for September 30, 2020
If anything, Minnesota is due after losing 17 consecutive playoff games. As good as the Twins were at home this season, they were just 15th in baseball with 140 runs at home and 15th in home OPS at .742. Their 2.89 ERA at home, third in the majors, was the difference-maker.
The Astros won consecutive games just twice in September, and both times they did it at home. They won’t get any home games in this series.
Astros at Twins Betting Pick:
Twins 5, Astros 2
Astros at Twins Best Bet for September 30, 2020
The Astros could go with right-hander Jose Urquidy in Game 2, pitting the Twins’ offense against a pitcher who did not give up more than two runs in any of his five starts.
The last time the Twins were held to one run or none, they rebounded with eight against Chicago Cubs. The Minnesota offense should be better after getting Game 1 out of the way, but runs still could be hard to come by.
Astros at Twins Best Bet: UNDER (total and odds TBA)
–Field Level Media