The Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros will wrap up a three-game set tonight at Minute Maid Park, as Louie Varland and the visitors currently sit as +155 road dogs with a total of 8 that has been trending to the Under.
Varland has had some issues with the longball, but considering Jose Abreu has had no power this season and is struggling after signing a big contract in the offseason, is the unmotivated hitter worth fading tonight at big plus money?
Find out where my best bet lies in our MLB picks and predictions for Twins vs. Astros on Wednesday, May 31.
Twins vs Astros odds
Twins vs Astros predictions
He’s hitting .214 after being a .294 career hitter entering the season. He also has zero pop at present, with just one home run over 221 plate appearances this season. His current .286 slugging percentage is 180 points shorter than a year ago.
Thanks to that batting average, Abreu has been very profitable to fade in the Under 0.5 Hits market. This prop is priced at roughly +200 daily, and considering he’s gone hitless in 18 of his last 43 games, bettors would be up 11 units over that stretch blindly betting this Under 0.5 hit prop on the year, and +8 units in May.
With just four multi-hit games over his last 48 contests, this prop should have some legs. He’s 0-2 in his career vs. Twins starter Louie Varland, who can give up the longball from time to time. But with Abreu’s issues with exit velocity, chase rate, and barrels, it isn’t a great matchup for him.
This is a play that will lose more times than it wins, but at +200, I’m happy to play this even at a 40% win probability, which is where I put it today.
My best bet: Abreu Under 0.5 Hits (+200)
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Twins vs Astros moneyline analysis
The Minnesota Twins might be a first-place team in the AL Central, but they’re also just a game above .500, and would be dead-last in the AL East. They just haven’t been a good team offensively, ranking in the bottom third in most offensive metrics.
Houston is the better team heading into tonight, but the current -175/-180 moneyline price is telling bettors that. Are the Twins worth a shot as +155 road dogs? I'm leaning toward that conclusion.
Minnesota has struggled to score all year, but so have the Astros. Houston ranks one spot below the Twins in terms of WAR, and its 97 wRC+ indicates that this is a below-average offense heading into the season’s third month.
This is going to be a low-scoring game, as bettors have already moved the total from 8.5 and 8, and the teams rank first and second, respectively, in runs allowed/9 innings. Minnesota currently sits second in team pitching WAR, and the Astros sit third.
This is a very close matchup between two similar teams, and I don’t see the starting pitching matchup to be worth more than 60 points for the Astros.
Varland has been solid as a rookie pitcher over six starts, and although his home run issues are a concern and the reason behind a high FIP, his command is elite and his arsenal is good, with a mid-to-high 90s fastball and a changeup with a near-40% whiff%.
His stuff plays a little differently, as well, as Varland has one of the best extensions in baseball, and can be a little more deceptive to hitters with a closer release point. As far as +155 underdog pitchers go, bettors can do much worse.
Looking at his opponent, Hunter Brown is still a stud of a pitcher, but he also comes into tonight having padded his stats vs. the A’s in back-to-back starts where he struck out 19 and walked one. Houston closed as a pick ‘em yesterday facing Joe Ryan, but this 70-point swing might be discounting Varland.
It’s more of a lean than a play, but Minnesota could get longer, and if it were to reach +165, I’d have no choice but to take the visitors in what should be a close low-scoring affair.
Twins vs Astros Over/Under analysis
Early bettors have already moved this total from 8.5 to 8, and hit the Under quickly last night at opening. Considering these are the two best run-suppressing teams in baseball, the move was inevitable.
On top of the struggles for both offenses, both pitchers have been efficient. If Varland can keep the ball in the park — or at least limit the damage when he does — nine total runs is asking a lot.
Brown has seemingly corrected some walk issues he was dealing with early in the season, and has issued just three free passes over his last four starts. That has helped cash the Under when he’s on the mound, as he is 1-5 O/U over his last six starts dating back to April 26.
The later innings are also in good hands as both bullpens have been great this season — sitting in the Top 8 in ERA. All arms except Houston’s Phil Maton should be available, so the late-inning pitching favors the Under as well.
If bettors can shop around, the Under 8.5 at -120 is the best value on this total, but those numbers are drying up, as they should.
Twins vs Astros game info
|Location:||Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 31, 2023|
|First pitch:||8:10 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports North, AT&T Houston|
Louie Varland (2-1, 4.24 ERA): Varland picked up his first loss of the season in his last outing but has shown elite command (seven walks). He has had trouble with the longball (nine home runs), though. He's allowed more than three runs just once in six starts, and mixes a mid-90s fastball with a great whiff% change-up.
Hunter Brown (5-1, 3.12 ERA): Brown has enjoyed his first full season with the Astros to date. He has a 66-18 K/BB ratio through 57 2/3 innings. He’s also stacked 27 strikeouts to just three walks over his last three starts, and went seven innings for two hits and one unearned run vs. the Twins in April.
Trend to know
The Under is 4-0 in Varland’s last four starts vs. a team with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Twins vs Astros