Minnesota Twins (4-3) vs. Houston Astros (8-2), April 9, 2018, 7:10 PM CDT
Radio: KBME 790, La Ranchera 850 AM
Twins SBNation Blog: Twinkie Town
RHP Lance Lynn (0-1, 11.25 ERA, 3 SO) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (1-0, 2.31 ERA, 14 SO)
Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn, who surrendered five earned runs, three hits, and six walks in his first outing against the Pirates, will be getting the start for Minnesota. Throughout his career, Lynn has always been a solid fly ball pitcher with a knack for outperforming his peripherals (3.41 career ERA vs. 3.91 career xFIP). Lynn's primary weapon is his mid-90's four-seam fastball, which has good movement and generates a lot of strikeouts for him (8.45 career K/9).
Lynn did not look his best in his first appearance, but it's a small sample and his velocity was actually a tick up from his 2017 form. This could be due to the fact that he spent most of Spring Training unsigned and pitched less innings. Minnesota's deep outfield dimensions should play to Lynn's strengths as a heavy fly ball pitcher, and the weather could also prevent the Astros from putting up as many runs as usual.
The Twins bullpen is below average and lacks anyone who would be considered a top tier reliever. They have some solid options in Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ryan Pressly, but overall this is a lackluster group. The pressure is on the Astros to put up some runs after some scoring duds against San Diego, and they'll need it to match the Twins' high-powered lineup.
|Houston Astros||Minnesota Twins|
|George Springer - DH||Brian Dozier - 2B|
|Alex Bregman - 3B||Joe Mauer - 1B|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||Miguel Sano - 3B|
|Carlos Correa - SS||Eddie Rosario - LF|
|Marwin Gonzalez - LF||Logan Morrison - DH|
|Brian McCann - C||Eduardo Escobar - SS|
|J.D. Davis - 1B||Max Kepler - RF|
|Jake Marisnick - CF||Byron Buxton - CF|
|Derek Fisher - RF||Jason Castro - C|
|Justin Verlander - RHP||Lance Lynn - RHP|
With the temperature just barely above freezing in Minneapolis at 35 degrees (and expected to drop throughout the night), the Houston Astros will look to Justin Verlander to keep the Minnesota hitters under control. Meanwhile, the Astros lineup will look to squeak across 2 or 3 runs in support of Verlander as that's all they may need tonight.
Vegas Line: Astros -152 (60.32% Implied Win Probability)
Our Model: Astros 59.1%