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Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins Free Pick - 9/3/13

Minnesota Twins (60-76) at Houston Astros (45-92)

MLB Baseball: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)

Pedro Hernandez (L) (3-1) (6.189) vs. Jarred Cosart (R) (1-1) (1.588)

The Line: Houston Astros -120 / Minnesota Twins +110 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-North, CSN-Houston

The Minnesota Twins and Hoston Astros continue their series at Minute Maid Park.

I have often said that Minnesota can be a dangerous club and I still believe that to be true, although their record might tell a different story. What I do know is the Twins need a few more arms and several bats because consistency on the mound and at the plate hasn't been a strength. The pitching struggled Monday, but the offense didn't in a 10-6 decision over the Astros, with Andrew Albers throwing batting practice over 1.2 frames, where he was tagged for five runs on nine hits. The Twins offense saved the day with a 13 hit, nine walk attack producing two long balls and five RBI's by Chris Colabelo, while Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe also went solo. Pedro Hernandez will be on the hill to square-off with the struggling Astros on Tuesday. Hernandez looks to build on the momentum of a 5-3 victory at Cleveland, where he gave up two runs on three hits and six BB in five frames.

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Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins Free Pick - 9/3/13

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros season was over before it started and the team generally went through the motions, which hasn't resulted in many positives. Houston has some talent and does win some games here and there, but they are far away from where they need to be to become consistent winners. The team has struggled to score, so when they do, as they did Monday, the game has to go in the win column. Paul Clemens gave up four runs over 3.2 innings with Chia-Jen Lo taking the loss with four runs plated in the 9th on a grand slam. With 13 hits and a trio of free passes, the Stros did plenty of damage that saw Chris Carter and Jason Castro drive in a pair of runs apiece. Houston hands the ball to rookie Jarred Cosart for his 9th start of 2013 when he toes the rubber versus Minnesota. Cosart has been in a position to win each time out, but hasn't gotten great support from the bats or pen.

Hernandez appears to be hittable, while Cosart looks like a fine young talent, although ten starts is not enough to make a call on whether he is good or bad. I'll take him here, but he'll likely lose if he gives up more then two runs or his pen throws more then an inning.

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