Astros vs Twins Picks and Predictions: Winder Blows Houston Away

Josh Winder has been impressive for Minnesota as a rookie and looks to have the right stuff to stick around. On the mound vs. Houston, our MLB betting picks like Winder to provide value for the Twins against the Astros today.

Last Updated: May 12, 2022 11:24 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Josh Winder Minnesota Twins MLB
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The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins will get going in the second of their three-game series in the Twin Cities. The first game was interrupted by rain in the fourth inning, with the Astros leading 5-1.

As usual, the Astros have gotten off to a good start and enter today with a 19-11. Likewise, the Twins have been impressive to start the season, with a record of 18-12 and atop the AL Central by 2.5 games. 

Who will get game two of this series? Find out in our MLB picks and predictions for Astros vs. Twins Thursday, May 12th.

Astros vs Twins odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Opening odds for today's matchup were released last night. The Astros opened as -105 favorites. Since then, Houston has taken some serious money. It’s now around -130 at most shops, with the Twins returning at around +110. The total opened up at eight and has risen to 8.5 since then.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Astros vs Twins predictions

Picks made on 5/12/2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Astros vs Twins game info

Location: Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET
TV: ATT SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports North

Astros vs Twins betting preview

Starting pitchers

Luis Garcia (2-1, 3.45 ERA): If Luis Garcia is anything, it's consistent. He won't be a guy that locks down a game for you, but generally, he's been pretty solid. Through 18 innings of work this season, he's given up 12 runs, which isn't a bad start to the season for a young pitcher. Once again, he's relied on an impressive K rate and a deep arsenal of pitches to get the job done. The metrics are generally positive for Garcia, and an expected ERA of exactly three makes you think he can improve on this start.

Josh Winder (2-0, 1.61 ERA): Josh Winder has been one of the most impressive rookies in the league so far this season. He's gotten off to a stellar start with metrics that make you believe it's sustainable. Through 22 innings, Winder has given up four earned runs. He's seen some big bats, like the Red Sox and White Sox, and been solid. He hasn't gone too deep in many games, but you'd have to think it's time.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Astros: Jake Meyers CF (Out).
Twins: Carlos Correa SS (Out), Miguel Sano 3B (Out), Luis Arraez 2B (Out), Chris Paddock SP (Out), Dylan Bundy SP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-0 in Astros' last five vs. a team with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. Twins

Astros vs Twins picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

I have to ride with the rookie in this spot, as I think the value is too much to pass up. 

I believe the oddsmakers aren't fully crediting Twins pitcher Josh Winder for how good he may be. It's pretty clear the ceiling hasn't been touched yet but what we've seen so far is impressive. Winder's slider has done a pretty good job of inducing soft contact. It's a vital part of his arsenal and why he's in the top half of the MLB in hard-hit percentage. 

Another big plus for Winder in this matchup is that he does an excellent job forcing teams to get "under" his breaking balls. Generally, when that happens, it leads to many soft fly balls and easy outs. The Astros are seventh in the MLB in "under" contact. So, Winder will generally lean into given that's one of the things he's trying to do at the plate.

I think this matchup for Twins hitters against Garcia is a good one. I'm a fan of his, but he relies on strikeouts and when that isn't happening, he tends to suffer some. The Twins don't manage to strike out a ton, which leaves Garcia exposed to hard hits. An excellent example of this is what happened against the Blue Jays. Garcia gave up five earned runs in five innings. The biggest reason for this? The Blue Jays are second in the MLB in hard-hit rate. They make good contact, putting the ball into play in challenging spots. The Twins aren't far beyond them, in sixth place. I believe a similar scenario could take place today.

Visiting my projections for this one, I see the value with this game close to a coin-flip. Given my personal preference for Winder, I think the Twins have even more of an edge. So, I have to take the plus money on the Twins here.

Prediction: Twins moneyline (+120 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

We've got some excellent value on the Under today, and I'll happily roll with it. But, again, I believe this is another situation where oddsmakers haven’t fully accounted for Winder just yet. 

Forgetting the pitching matchups here, let's acknowledge a few trends:

  • The Under is 5-0 in the Astros' last five vs. the American League Central.
  • The Under is 5-0 in the Astros' last five games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
  • The Under is 7-2-1 in the last ten meetings between these two teams and 5-1 in the previous six meetings in Minnesota. 

Typically, I'm not the biggest trends bettor in any sport. But, sometimes as handicappers, the best thing we can do is acknowledge everything in front of us and not get tunnel-vision into one way of thinking. I like both pitcher matchups today. Taking a lot at the trends just furthers that assertion.

Is something else working in our favor? Both bullpens are among the best in baseball. So far in this young season, both teams have bullpens with a Top-5 ERA in baseball. That's a nice cherry on top in case we need it.

Taking a look at my projections for this one, I see seven total runs being the most typical combined number of runs. I also see this game coming Under the posted total of 8.5 just over 70% of the time. That's a very nice edge. So, I'll take the Under. 

Prediction: Under 8.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

I've spoken about how high I am on the Twins rookie Josh Winder throughout this article. I've even gone to place a futures bet on him to win AL Rookie of the Year. Because of that, I'm looking for a place to take advantage of him in a market where I believe he is, once again, being undervalued. So, I'll use that for my Best Bet. 

Let's roll with Winder Under 4.5 hits at plus money, which is available on FanDuel. 

We have a few things working in our favor with this bet. I've already talked about most of these, like how I just like the general matchup here. But, additionally, none of these Astros players have faced Winder before. Because of his heavily breaking ball approach, I think it may take a look for most hitters to get used to him. He may only see this lineup twice. 

Winder has yet to give up over four hits so far this season. He accomplished that feat while seeing the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, two teams that can really light you up if you're not on your A-game. Minnesota has done an excellent job protecting him but giving him quick starts. I like the matchup a lot here for him, but I don't think he will last long enough to give up this many hits even if he gets in trouble. So I'll gladly grab the plus money here.

Pick: Josh Winder Under 4.5 hits allowed (+116 at FanDuel)

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