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Astros vs Twins Predictions | ALDS Game 4

Frank AmmiranteSenior Sports Writer
@FAmmiranteTFJ
Last Updated: Oct 24, 2023

The Astros took a 2-1 series lead with a blowout 9-1 win in Game 3. Cristian Javier pitched five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts, while Yordan Alvarez continued his onslaught on Twins pitching with his fourth home run of the series.

Minnesota has the pitching advantage with Joe Ryan on the hill against José Urquidy as it tries to avoid elimination.

Let’s get into the Minnesota vs Houston best bets and predictions for Game 4 of the AL Division Series.

Astros vs Twins Game 4 Prediction

Twins 6, Astros 3

Twins’ starter Joe Ryan is an inconsistent pitcher with high upside. Ryan put up a 3.44 SIERA, which is much lower than his 4.51 ERA.

The inflated ERA results come from a home-run problem, as Ryan allowed 1.78 HR/9 in 161.2 innings this year.

However, when the righty is on his game, he’s tough to beat, as highlighted by his 24.3 K-BB%. In fact, Ryan has six games with 10 strikeouts this season.

On the other side, José Urquidy had a poor season, posting a 5.24 SIERA with below-average rates in strikeouts (16.4%) and walks (9.1 BB%).

Look for Minnesota to capitalize on its pitching advantage to even up the series here.

Astros vs Twins Game 4

Best Bet

Twins ML (-125) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

We’re getting a reasonable price on the Twins at (-125) odds, making this an appealing value as Minnesota tries to force a decisive Game 5.

In addition to its edge on the mound with Ryan over Urquidy, Minnesota also has the benefit of fresh arms with top relievers Jhoan Duran and Brock Stewart held out of action in Game 3.

But the main draw with this play is Ryan, who just needs to figure out his home-run problem to become one of the top starters in the American League.

Look for the Twins to get a strong start from Ryan en route to a win in our MLB Play of the Day.

Twins vs Astros Game 4 Props

José Urquidy: Under 3.5 Strikeouts (-120) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

José Urquidy had one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball at 16.4%.

In fact, the veteran righty has gotten three strikeouts or fewer in 12 of 16 appearances this season (75% hit rate).

It also helps that Urquidy doesn’t pitch deep into games, getting past five innings in only four of 16 outings.

Add in the fact that managers tend to take out their pitchers earlier in the playoffs and you have to love this prop.

Even though the Twins had the highest strikeout rate in MLB this year, Urquidy doesn’t have the stuff to miss bats consistently.

Look for the Astros’ righty to go three or four innings and finish with two to three strikeouts.

MLB Divisional Series Props

Previously: Astros vs Twins Game 3 Prediction

Astros 5, Twins 3

While I picked the Twins to win this series, I’m favoring the Astros in this spot because of how well Javier pitched down the stretch.

The young righty put up a 3.71 SIERA with a 32.3% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate in six starts in September, spanning 30.2 innings.

Let’s not forget that he posted a 2.54 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 194 strikeouts in 148.2 innings last season.

Perhaps Javier started to find his 2022 form during his strong finish to the year, especially since this stretch featured tough matchups against the Diamondbacks, Mariners, and Orioles.

While Gray has been terrific for the Twins, we could see the veteran have a tough time against a star-studded lineup that includes Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez.

Look for Houston to take a 2-1 series lead with a victory in Game 3.

Astros vs Twins Game 3

Best Bet

Astros ML (+114) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

We’re getting the defending World Series champions at (+115) odds, making this too good of a value to pass up.

Oddsmakers aren’t putting enough stock in Javier’s strong September, instead focusing on his poor season-long totals that include a 4.56 ERA (4.76 SIERA) in 162 innings.

In other words, the pitching advantage may not be as significant as the odds reflect, especially when you consider Houston’s edge on offense.

It’s also not like Gray pitches deep into games, averaging about 5.2 innings per outing.

Look for the Astros to get a quality outing from Javier en route to a win.

Twins vs Astros Game 3 Props

Cristian Javier: Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-130) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

Cristian Javier posted a 32.3 K% and 12.9% swinging-strike rate in September. Prior to that stretch, the righty had a 21.1 K% and 11.1% swinging-strike rate.

We’re getting a low bar at 4.5 strikeouts on a pitcher who’s performing at a high level entering the postseason.

The risk here is that Javier is pulled early from the game. The market projects about four innings for Javier, as evidenced by his 12.5 outs prop.

The good news is that this is still enough volume to rack up five or more strikeouts. After all, the Twins put up a 26.6% strikeout rate on the year, which was the highest in MLB.

If Javier can keep the Twins’ bats at bay with an efficient pitch count, we could see him fly over this number.

Previous: Twins vs Astros Game 2 Prediction

Twins 3, Astros 2

López has had a terrific season, putting up a 3.66 ERA (3.37 SIERA) and 1.15 WHIP with a 29.2 K% and 6.0 BB% in 194 innings.

Framber Valdez has been great as well, registering a 3.45 ERA (3.70 SIERA) and 1.13 WHIP with a 24.8 K% and 7.1 BB% in 198 innings.

Given López’s superior strikeout ability, I’m giving a slight pitching edge to the Twins in this one.

Coming into this series, I predicted that Minnesota would pull off the upset. This feels like a game they should win with their best pitcher on the mound.

Look for the Twins to pull off the upset in a low-scoring affair.

Twins vs Astros Game 2

Best Bet

Twins ML (+114) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

I discussed how the Twins have the pitching advantage with López on the mound.

This is highlighted by Valdez’s struggles in the second half of the season, during which he put up a 4.46 ERA (4.33 SIERA) and 1.20 WHIP in 13 starts, spanning 80.2 innings.

During that same stretch, López had a 2.79 ERA (3.19 SIERA) and 1.19 WHIP in 80.2 innings.

Minnesota almost came back from a 5-0 deficit in Game 1. They stranded base-runners in the first three innings, squandering an opportunity to get to Justin Verlander before he settled in.

Twins vs Astros Game 2 Props

Michael A. Taylor: Over 0.5 Home Runs (+700) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 0.1 Units

Michael A. Taylor hit a career-high 21 home runs in 388 plate appearances this season. The Twins’ centerfielder is a lefty-masher, slashing .252/.313/.602 with a .350 ISO against southpaws.

Valdez allowed 14 of his 19 home runs against righties, so this prop looks worth a sprinkle.

It’s also worth noting that Taylor put up a .370 wOBA vs sinkers this year. Valdez throws a sinker 46.6% of the time, so this is an exploitable matchup.

At (+700) odds, the value is there to take a shot on Taylor to hit a home run.

Previous: Twins vs Astros Game 1 Prediction

Twins 5, Astros 4

The Twins send out righty Bailey Ober, who had a solid year, putting up a 3.43 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 144.1 innings. These numbers are backed by the advanced stats, highlighted by Ober’s 3.87 SIERA, 25.3 K%, and 5.0 BB%.

It was a strong finish to the year for Ober, as he allowed only five runs in 21.2 innings in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A on September 15. What’s most impressive about this stretch is the 26 strikeouts and three walks.

While Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli will likely have a quick hook with Ober, the Twins have several arms in their bullpen to make life difficult on the Astros, including converted starters like Louie Varland.

The Astros counter with Justin Verlander, who posted a 3.22 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 162.1 innings.

The advanced stats paint a worse picture, as the veteran posted a 4.43 SIERA with a 21.5 K% and 6.7 BB%. In other words, the future Hall of Famer has been worse than the surface stats suggest.

This highlights how you can make a legitimate argument that the Twins have the pitching advantage in Game 1, especially when you consider their improved bullpen.

Look for the Twins to pull off the upset behind a strong outing from Ober.

Twins vs Astros Game 1

Best Bet

Twins ML (+130) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 0.5 Units

I love the value on the Twins at (+130) odds in Game 1. Not only is Ober, a high-upside pitcher, but Minnesota has the benefit of turning it over to their deep bullpen if he struggles.

The Twins have stud relievers like Jhoan Duran, along with some of their converted starters, such as Kenta Maeda.

We could see Minnesota opt to go with Maeda or even Joe Ryan to pair with Ober, but they don’t have to, as there are several other options, including Brock Stewart and Griffin Jax.

This is a team that held the Blue Jays to only two runs in two games. The deep-pitching staff can be a difference-maker in this series.

On top of that, the market is giving a bit too much respect to Verlander in this spot. The veteran hasn’t been nearly as good this season, with his strikeout rate falling from 27.8% to 21.5%.

Twins vs Astros Game 1 Props

Justin Verlander: Under 6.5 Strikeouts (+110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

Targeting Justin Verlander to go Under 6.5 strikeouts is one of my favorite wagers on the board.

As I mentioned, Verlander’s strikeout rate plummeted by 6.3% this season, so 6.5 punch outs is a high bar for the veteran.

If we look at his game log, we see that he’s gone Under this number in 19 of 27 starts this season (70.4% hit rate), yet we’re getting this prop at (+110) odds, which is 47.6% implied probability.

This is because Minnesota put up a 26.6% strikeout rate, which ranked 30th in MLB.

But that’s skewed since their young players like Royce Lewis (58 games), Alex Kirilloff (88 games), and Matt Wallner (76 games), along with veterans like Jorge Polanco (80 games), missed a chunk of the season.

Minnesota’s recent performance with strikeouts backs this:

  • Last 30 days: 24.2 K% (22nd)
  • Last 14 days: 23.2 K% (15th)
  • Last seven days: 21.7 K% (11th)

Take Verlander to go Under 6.5 strikeouts against this improved Twins lineup.

Author

Frank Ammirante

Frank Ammirante is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously, he wrote for 4for4 Football and RotoBaller. Frank is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association while maintaining an active presence within the community. He has competed in industry contests like the Scott Fish Bowl, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and more. Frank will be making his debut in Tout Wars this year. He's got a diverse sporting background, but specializes in football and baseball.

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