Houston Astros (35-26) vs. Minnesota Twins (24-37)
June 11, 2021 8:10 pm EDT
The Line: Minnesota Twins +141 / Houston Astros -151; Over/Under: +11
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The Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins meet Friday in MLB action from Target Field. The Astros are coming off a series versus the Red Sox. Houston won the first two installments of that set, then on Thursday the Astros lost by four runs. As for the Twins, they played the Yankees this week. Minnesota lost their first two games, and in the Thursday finale the Twins posted a comeback win to avoid the sweep. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Houston had a solid performance versus the Red Sox this week, winning 7-1 Tuesday and 8-3 Wednesday. In the Thursday series finale, the Astros coughed up five runs in the sixth on the way to a 12-8 loss. Zack Greinke gave up four earned on seven this and a walk.
For the starting pitcher job on Friday, the Astros will send out Jose Urquidy. Over his 55.0 innings this year, Urquidy has 49 hits, 23 earned runs, eight homers allowed, 10 walks, 47 Ks and a 3.76 ERA.
Over on the Twins’ side, they lost 8-4 Tuesday and 9-6 to the Yankees in their last series. In the Thursday finale, Minnesota stormed back with four runs in the bottom of the ninth for a thrilling 7-5 walk-off victory. Starter JA Happ went 5.0 innings with four earned on eight hits.
For the starter role in the Friday game, the Twins are going with Matt Shoemaker. Across 50.2 innings this season Shoemaker has 59 hits, 43 runs (41 earned), 11 homers allowed, 21 walks, 34 Ks and a 7.28 ERA.
The Astros are 12-3 in their last 15 with the total set at 11.0 or higher and 43-18 in their last 61 versus the AL Central. Houston is 62-30 in their last 92 Friday games and the over is 6-1 in their last seven in game one of a series.
Meanwhile, the Twins are 3-7 in their last 10 in game one of a series and 3-12 in their last 15 versus the AL West. The over is 5-1 in Minnesota’s last six Friday games and 16-4-1 in the last 21 in game one of a series.
PICK: I’m sticking with the Astros. Shoemaker has hit the skids over his last two starts, posting 13 earned runs in a span of 4.2 innings. As for Urquidy, he coughed up six earned on nine hits in 4.1 innings versus the Blue Jays his last time out, but prior to that had just one earned in a 9.2-inning span. I like both guys to bounce back and pitch better here, with Houston ultimately having the advantage.