Preview: Rangers at Astros
Current Conditions – Houston
P/SUNNY 90 °F
Wind: SSW 7
5-Day Forecast GAME: Texas Rangers (84-69) at Houston Astros (80-74)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, September 26 – 1:05 PM EST
WHERE: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
The Houston Astros seem to be trying their best to play their way out of a postseason spot, and the American League West title is all but gone already. The Astros will try to hang onto the second AL wild card when they host the Texas Rangers in the second of a three-game series on Saturday.
Houston dropped its third straight on Friday to fall 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and has lost 12 of the last 17 to see its lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card trimmed to a half game. The Astros are 4-13 against Texas, including 0-5 in the last 12 days, and have to go on the road for the final six of the regular season after finishing up against the Rangers over the weekend. Texas is moving in the opposite direction with wins in fourth straight and 10 of 12 and has put up at least five runs in each of those 10 wins. Houston send Collin McHugh to the mound in an effort to slow down that offense on Saturday while the Rangers counter with Derek Holland.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Derek Holland (3-3, 4.75 ERA) vs. Astros RH Collin McHugh (17-7, 3.93)
Holland has wilted after a promising return from the disabled list last month and is 0-2 with 17 runs allowed in 17 innings over his last three turns. The 28-year-old had his worst outing against Seattle on Sunday, when he was rocked for seven runs on seven hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings. Holland was bailed out by his offense and did not factor in the decision despite surrendering five runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 frames against the Astros on Sep. 15.
McHugh has not lost since Aug. 20 and dominated Oakland on Sunday, allowing one run and four hits in eight innings to earn the win. That marked a bounce back for the 28-year-old, who was even worse than Holland on Sep. 15 as he allowed five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings at Texas. McHugh survived without a decision in that turn and is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers.
1. Astros 2B Jose Altuve left Friday’s game following a collision with SS Carlos Correa and is day-to-day.
2. Rangers CF Delino DeShields scored at least one run in six straight contests.
3. Texas 3B Adrian Beltre has recorded multiple hits in four straight games and 10 of the last 13.
PREDICTION: Astros 5, Rangers 3