Houston Astros vs Minnesota Twins Picks and Predictions June 1st 2024

Houston Astros vs Minnesota Twins MLB Sat, Jun 1, 16:10 pm.
Houston Astros
ML: -130
Minnesota Twins
ML: 110

Joe Ryan, Twins Seek Victory Over Struggling Astros

Ronel Blanco’s Season So Far

Right-hander Ronel Blanco has been a key pitcher for the Houston Astros this season, managing to pitch less than six innings in only three of his nine starts, barring his ejection against Oakland on May 14.

Twins’ Strategy Pays Off

The Minnesota Twins, aiming for their eighth win in 10 games, executed their strategy against Blanco on Friday, securing the opener of a three-game series in Houston with a 6-1 victory.

Minnesota’s game plan was to wear down Blanco, who threw 95 pitches but managed only 14 outs. The Twins’ hitters fouled off 31 of the 51 swings against him, putting 11 balls in play. This relentless approach led to Blanco conceding a season-high four runs in his shortest outing since his three-inning game against the Athletics on May 14, which led to a 10-game suspension due to a foreign substance found in his glove.

“We just focused on getting pitches up,” said Twins left fielder Willi Castro, who contributed a triple and drew two of the three walks against Blanco. “When he pitches down, it’s often a ball, so we aimed to see the ball up and get good swings. That was our plan.”

Joe Ryan Takes the Mound

On Saturday, the Twins will send right-hander Joe Ryan (4-3, 2.96 Time) to the hill. Ryan is falling off major areas of strength for a, permitting one sudden spike in demand for four hits and one stroll while striking out nine north of seven innings in a 6-5 triumph against the Kansas City Royals on Monday. He has kept eight quality beginnings in 11 excursions this season.

Ryan’s career record against the Astros is less impressive, with a 1-2 record and an 8.36 ERA over three starts. In his last encounter with them, he allowed five runs on four hits and three walks, striking out six over four innings in a 5-1 loss on May 30, 2023.

Framber Valdez’s Challenge

The Astros will counter with left-hander Framber Valdez (3-3, 4.34 ERA) on Saturday. Valdez is looking to bounce back after suffering his second consecutive loss, despite delivering his fourth quality start on Monday against the Seattle Mariners. He allowed three runs on six hits and three walks, striking out four over six innings in a 3-2 loss.

Valdez has a solid track record against the Twins, with a 3-1 record and a 2.37 ERA over seven appearances (four starts). In his last outing against Minnesota on August 24, 2022, he gave up one run on two hits and four walks, striking out eight over seven innings in a 5-3 victory at home.

Astros’ Offensive Struggles

In contrast to the Twins, who tallied five extra-base hits out of their six hits on Friday, the Astros managed only one extra-base hit among their six hits. This game marked the eighth time in nine games that the Astros scored all their runs in a single inning, amassing just eight runs in their last six losses.

With four losses in their past five games, the Astros finished May with a 15-14 record. Despite hopes of improving after a 10-19 start to the season, the Astros are still struggling.

“Compared to our season start, we’re moving in the right direction,” said Astros manager Joe Espada. “I believe we’re playing good baseball. In the last five days, we’ve faced some strong pitching and we’re pushing through.

“Our effort and approach are solid; we just need to keep pushing. I think we’re playing better baseball than a month ago.”

Looking Ahead

The Twins are hoping to expand on their force, particularly with Joe Ryan pitching, as they expect to get one more win against the Astros. With the two groups battling to work on their standings, Saturday’s down vows to be one more astonishing match-up in the MLB.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sat, Jun 1, 03:04 am.
Houston Astros
O 7.5
Minnesota Twins
U 7.5
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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