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Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners Free Pick - 9/1/13

Seattle Mariners (62-73) at Houston Astros (44-91)

MLB Baseball: Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)

Hisashi Iwakuma (R) (12-6) (3.032) vs. Brett Oberholtzer (L) (3-1) (2.531)

The Line: Houston Astros +128 / Seattle Mariners -138 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT-Northwest, CSN Houston

The Seattle Mariners finish up their series with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Seattle probably wishes they played Houston more often and they could be challenging for the top spot in the American League West. The Mariners had dropped six in a row before taking three straight at Minute Maid Park, following a 3-1 decision on Friday. Runs can still be a precious commodity, but it didn't matter Saturday with starter Joe Saunders coming up with a big effort on the mound with the lone run allowed over 5.1 innings. Saunders was backed by a six hit, four walk attack that saw three players drive in runs, and three score. Seattle sends Hisashi Iwakuma to the bump to end the series with the Astros on Sunday. Iwakuma has posted three consecutive quality starts, where he has allowed seven runs over 20 innings.

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Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners Free Pick - 9/1/13

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston absorbed their fifth consecutive defeat after Saturday's loss to the Mariners. A quality performance on the mound went by the wayside because the offense struggled to hit and score, which has been an all too familiar scene for this team in 2013 and previous years as well. Dallas Keuchel tossed a very winnable game, with all three runs given up on four hits and a pair of bases on balls, while whiffing eight through seven innings. That proved to be too much for the Astros eight hit, five walk attack, with the lone run plated on an error. Houston hands the ball to rookie left-hander Brett Oberholtzer for his 6th straight start versus visiting Seattle. Oberholtzer is coming off a 10-8 win (ND) against the White Sox, in which he gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in five frames.

I am rooting for Oberholtzer, who is a fellow First Stater and graduated from my alma mater. The odds are stacked against him facing Iwakuma because Houston doesn't know what a bat is for, so this is just me hoping for an Oberholtzer win...

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