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Game 119 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins

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Astros play three against the Twins before heading off to the east coast.

Bob Levey

Houston Astros (49-68) vs. Minnesota Twins (52-64), 7:10 p.m. (CST)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV (FREE GAME OF THE DAY)
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Twins SBNation BlogTwinkie Town

Pitching matchup

RHP Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.44 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (6-3, 3.55 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

Preview

The Astros welcome the Minnesota  Twins to town for a three game series. Like the Astros, the Twins have slowly slide to the back of the standings by August. The Twins were over .500 when May came calling but are now 11.5 games back of the American League Central leading Tigers. These two teams maybe forever connected like the teams in 1984 NBA draft. Houston selected Carlos Correa first overall and the Twins selected Byron Buxton second in the 2012 MLB draft. The question is, is Correa the Astros' Hakeem? Is Buxton is Bowie or (more likely) Jordan? We will have to see.

The Twins come into the series, losers in four of their last five games and six in their last ten. After putting on an excellent All-Star game, the Twins are 8-14 in games since the mid summer classic. Looking at the Twins offense since the break, it has been lead by top-10 prospect shortstop Danny Santana leading the way. He is batting .295 with 10 extra-base hits and four stolen bases. Former Astro Jordan Schafer has found a new home with the Twins and is batting .313 in 16 games thus far with Minnesota. Another Twins call-up Kennys Vargas hasn't shown the power he possesses, but he has hit well in his first 37 at-bats in the majors (.297).

Tommy Milone will make his first start as a Twin in game one against Houston. The A's traded Milone for Sam FuldYohan Pino, making his five start of the season, and 6'6'' Kyle Gibson round out the Twins rotation for the series.

Milone's spot on the 25-man was opened by Kevin Correia, who was traded to the Dodgers on Saturday. Milone had a 5.14 ERA in 28 innings pitched between the Athletics' Triple-A team in Sacramento and the Twins' Triple-A team in Rochester. Milone pitched six scoreless innings in his last major league start, July 4 against the Blue Jays. He faced the Astros on April 27 this season, giving up four runs over 6.2 innings.

Overall the Astros' lineup has struggled against Milone in the past. But, the Houston hopes their bats stay hot after thumping the Rangers this past series. Chris Carter and Robbie Grossman have been knocking the cover off the ball, batting .320 and .294 respectfully in the last seven days. Grossman has .478 OBP during that stretch, much of which has been at the top of the Astros lineup. Dexter Fowler and George Springer are very close to returning to the lineup, may be another spark plug this lineup needs.

Brad Peacock hopes to turn around his season after posting a 16.00 ERA in his last three starts. He has given up 15 runs over his last 8.2 innings. In his last start, in Philadelphia on August 6, Peacock gave up eight runs on seven hits and four walks. Last season, in one start against the Twins, Peacock held Minnesota to three runs on seven hits. Oswaldo Arica was 1-for-3 with a home run in the game. Eduardo Nunez is 1-for-1 with a double in his career against Peacock. Outside of that, the current Twins are hitless against Peacock.

Series Prediction

The Astros take two of three from the Twins. Matt Dominguez will send a pitch or two into the Crawford Boxes. Robbie Grossman and Chris Carter will continue their offensive tears. Brad Peacock will have a solid outing and avoid another trainwreck.