MLB picks: Astros vs. Rangers, Reds vs. Twins (Sept. 25)
The final weekend of regular season baseball has arrived. We’ll break down tonight’s matchups between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, as well as the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins, as we search for the two best bets on the diamond this Friday night.
Houston Astros (29-28) at Texas Rangers (19-38), 8:05 p.m. ET
Sat, September 26 2020, 12:05 AM
TEX Rangers[K. Cody]
HOU Astros[J. Urquidy]
The Astros’ Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78 ERA) and the Rangers’ Kyle Cody (1-1, 1.53 ERA) may not be household names, but fans of pitching will want to tune into this one. And, of course, Under bettors will want to get their action in too.
Urquidy will face a Texas lineup that’s 29th in the majors by runs per game (3.60). He has a good chance to lower his WHIP from 1.01 in this one. That number would be even lower if Urquidy had slightly better control, as he’s allowed eight walks through only four starts. Fortunately for him, the Rangers are tied for 27th in walks this season (158).
Urquidy will eventually hand things off to a reliable Astros relief corps, which has a 2.45 ERA over the last seven days, the fifth-best mark in baseball in that span.
Cody has been a revelation for the Rangers in 2020. But much like Urquidy, his weakness seems to be allowing walks – he’s given up 10 through only 17 2/3 innings this year. But Houston’s lineup also struggles with patience at the plate – they’re 19th in walks drawn this season (180).
The Astros broke out for 12 runs in the series-opening game between these two clubs on Thursday night, but that was just the second time they exceeded four runs in their last 12 contests.
Cincinnati Reds (29-28) at Minnesota Twins (35-22), 8:10 p.m. ET
Sat, September 26 2020, 12:10 AM
MIN Twins[J. Berrios]
CIN Reds[T. Mahle]
The Twins have the superior starter, bullpen and offense at Target Field on Friday night as they host the Reds, and are available at fair odds on the moneyline.
Jose Berrios (5-3, 3.72 ERA) has had an outstanding month for Minnesota, producing a 2.05 ERA through four starts (22 innings). He faces a Cincinnati lineup that’s had trouble plating runs all season long – they rank 28th at exactly four runs per game. Berrios can confidently turn the ball over to the Twins bullpen, which has a 2.00 ERA over the last week, the second-best mark in the majors in that span.
Tyler Mahle (2-2, 3.57 ERA) should give a decent effort for the Reds, but he has to contend with a Twins lineup that’s plated 24 runs during their current four-game win streak. Outfielder Eddie Rosario has six hits, including a pair of home runs and six RBI, during this stretch. Cincinnati’s bullpen numbers over the last week are not encouraging – they rank 16th with a 4.24 ERA.