The Minnesota Twins and the Houston Astros face off in the final game of a three-game series on Wednesday, May 31. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET from Minute Maid Park. It’ll be a pair of promising rookies on the mound, as Louie Varland (2-1, 4.24 ERA) pitches for the Twins while the red-hot Hunter Brown (5-1, 3.12 ERA) goes for the Astros.
Houston enters as the -180 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Minnesota coming in at +155. The total is set at 8.
Twins-Astros picks: Wednesday, May 31
Day to day: RP Emilio Pagan (hip)
Out: SP Kenta Maeda (right triceps strain), RP Caleb Theilbar (right oblique strain), 2B Jorge Polanco (left hamstring strain), OF Trevor Larnach (pneumonia), RP Jorge Alcala (right radial stress fracture)
Out: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery), SP Lance McCullers Jr. (right arm muscle strain), SP Jose Urquidy (right shoulder inflammation)
Louie Varland vs. Hunter Brown
Varland has been fairly consistent in allowing between two and four runs in each start this season, often lasting on the mound for five to six innings. In his latest start, he conceded three runs to the Blue Jays in six innings, striking out three batters.
Brown has been very solid for the Astros this season, keeping runs to a minimum and frequently lasting six innings or more on the mound. In five starts this month, he has amassed 27.1 innings pitched and allowed 12 runs while striking out 34 in that timeframe.
The Astros can likely be counted on to put up around five runs — they have scored five or more in each of their last five games, and go up against Varland to start, who will likely give up around three runs. However, it’s hard to read the Twins here. Will they contribute enough to hit the over as they go up against Brown? My money is on no: Minnesota ranks in the bottom half of MLB in runs per game and sits fourth-to-last in runs per game over the last three contests.
Pick: Under 8
The Twins took the first game of this series in extra innings, 7-5, while the Astros won the second, 5-1. With Brown on the mound, I think Houston should be able to win the rubber match at home tonight. Minnesota has struggled as of late, losing eight of their last 12 games. With Jose Altuve back at the top of the lineup for Houston, let’s go with the favorites here.