MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day: May 12, Astros vs Twins

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins
May 6, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Josh Winder (74) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day

Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 3:45ish p.m. ET (30 minutes after suspended game is completed)

TV: MLB Network (*possibly; was originally slated for this slot)

Probable pitchers: Luis Garcia (2-1, 3.45 ERA) vs. Josh Winder (2-0, 1.61 ERA)

Apr 30, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia (77) looks on at an MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

When will Josh Winder begin commanding proper respect from the linesmakers? Only two starts, and three relief appearances, into his career, this is a guy that already looks like a polished Major League pitcher.

Take note of what the former seventh-round draft pick has done since getting a chance in the Twins rotation. First, he churned out six beautiful scoreless innings on the road against a dangerous Rays lineup while yielding only two hits and notching seven strikeouts to one walk. That was his first career start, remember.

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Then last time out, Winder constructed six more terrific frames in allowing one (unearned) run on three hits and accumulating eight more punch-outs. Clearly, these were statement-making performances from the 6-foot-5 righty.

Alas, the window may be closing on potential Winder under wagers — at least for now, as he was only getting these opportunities as a result of injuries to Sonny Gray (hamstring) and now, more recently, Bailey Ober (groin). Once the latter returns, it remains to be seen how the hard-throwing youngster can stick on the starting staff despite being deserving.

Either way, it can be opportunistic grabbing his games in the meantime while this opening exists, especially while he couldn’t be running hotter. Plus, while Houston sports a hard-hitting batting order, we’d be remiss not to factor in that they’ll most likely trot out some bats off the bench in the starting lineup. All the regulars are in there for the resumption of the first game, so you have to assume a at least a pair of them will be out in this bout.

Winder has picked apart his first two opponents in a starting role, and with this continuing to sort of serve as an audition for the Virginia Military Institute grad, I think it’s wise to bet on him maintaining success.

Opposing Winder is another pitcher that’s been successful since first arriving; except in the case of Luis Garcia, this is a track record that’s stretched multiple years now.

Garcia enjoyed a solid rookie campaign last season, going 11-8 with a 3.30 ERA and registered a desirable strikeout rate of 9.68 K/9. There’s been more of that in 2022, as the Venezuela native enters this outing with a 3.45 ERA and, most notably, a 0.87 WHIP. Garcia is also holding hitters to a puny .176 average, sixth-lowest among all big-league starting pitchers.

Like with his counterpart, we’ll be picking our spot here related to just what the right-handed will be facing. As it is, the Twins are ravaged right now at the dish, missing Carlos Correa (ginger), Miguel Sano (knee) and Trevor Larnach (groin). Additionally, Luis Arraez (COVID) might remain out as well. And being the back-end of this doubleheader, Minnesota might be resting another starter or two.

Like last year, Garcia is contributing steady pitching each fifth day and is also coming off a couple of quality outings, including one that saw him etch nine K’s. Look for him, and Winder, to capitalize on these matchups with lightened offenses.

Pick: UNDER 8.5 (-120)

2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “18-12-4,” +4.37 units

Yesterday’s Result: Marlins-Diamondbacks Under 8 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit