2020 MLB Playoffs: Astros vs. Twins odds, picks, Game 1 predictions from proven model

The Minnesota Twins will look to advance in the playoffs for the first time since reaching the American League Championship Series in 2002 when they take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of a best-of-three Wild-Card matchup on Tuesday. The Twins (36-24) are the third seed after winning the AL Central, one game clear of both the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. The Astros (29-31) are seeded sixth after placing second in the AL West. Houston is one of only two teams with a losing record to make MLB’s 16-team playoff. The other was the Milwaukee Brewers.

First pitch from Target Field in Minneapolis is set for 2 p.m. ET. The Astros lead the all-time series 33-31, while the series is tied 16-16 in games played at Target Field. Minnesota is the -160 favorite on the money line in the latest Astros vs. Twins odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total runs scored is 7.5. Before making any Twins vs. Astros picks, check out the latest MLB predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model. 

The model, which simulates every MLB game 10,000 times, is coming off a banner 2019 season. The model returned more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line MLB picks, and anyone who followed it saw huge rewards. 

Now, the model has dialed in on Twins vs. Astros. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the MLB odds from William Hill and trends for Astros vs. Twins:

  • Astros vs. Twins money line: Houston +150, Minnesota -160
  • Astros vs. Twins run line: Minnesota –1.5
  • Astros vs. Twins over-under: 7.5 runs
  • HOU: OF Kyle Tucker led the Astros with eight stolen bases this season
  • MIN: Allowed the fewest home runs in MLB this year with 62

Why you should back the Twins

Minnesota will send right-hander Kenta Maeda (6-1, 2.70 ERA) to the mound. Maeda, who finished the regular season as baseball’s qualified WHIP leader (0.75), will make his first postseason start since 2016. He won two of his last three starts, including a 7-6 win over Detroit on Wednesday when he allowed three earned runs and four hits over six innings, striking out nine and walking none. He is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in one career start against the Astros.

Offensively, the Twins are led by right fielder Nelson Cruz (.303), who finished the season with a team-high 16 home runs and was second with 33 RBIs. Cruz, who returned this past weekend against Cincinnati after hurting his knee, had 13 multi-hit games in 2020. Cruz has had some success against Houston throughout his career. In 121 career games, he is hitting .262 with 14 doubles, one triple, 25 homers and 72 RBIs.

Why you should back the Astros

Houston is making its fourth consecutive playoff appearance and has appeared in two of the past three World Series, winning the 2017 championship. The Astros will start right-hander Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA). After starting the season strong, posting a 1.84 ERA over his first five starts, Greinke had a 5.73 ERA over his final seven games. He had a 0-2 record and 4.68 ERA in five starts for Houston in last year’s postseason. In 24 career starts against the Twins, Greinke is 5-9 with a 4.64 ERA with 47 walks and 102 strikeouts.

Left fielder Michael Brantley led the Houston offense with a .300 batting average and had hits in seven of his past 10 games, including a 3-for-4 performance at Seattle on Sept. 21. Brantley is facing Maeda for the first time. He is a lifetime .291 hitter against the Twins. In 125 career games vs. Minnesota, Brantley has 22 doubles, four triples, nine homers and 58 RBIs. He has scored 58 runs.

How to make Twins vs. Astros picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, as the simulation says the starting pitchers from both teams will combine to allow nearly five runs in 11-plus combined innings, and it also says one side of the money line has the value. Head to SportsLine now to see the pick. 

So who wins Astros vs. Twins? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side to jump on, all from the advanced model that returned over $1,400 on MLB picks last year.

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