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Rangers series preview: Houston Astros

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For pride, honor, and the Silver Boot

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I guess we can pretend to care about the Silver Boot since the wild card race has turned into ‘will the Rangers even finish ahead of the A’s?’ But then again the only way the Rangers can win the Silver boot is if they sweep since they have a 7-9 record for the season.

Rangers could play spoiler by sweeping the Astros as well since Houston is fighting for home-field advantage in the ALCS and they’re currently 2.5 back of Cleveland for the best record in the AL.

Since 2011, Adrian Beltre is hitting .337 against the Astros with 17 homers and 61 RBIs. Nomar Mazara is hitting .307 and slugging .512 at home.

GAME ONE

Collin McHugh will make his second start against the Rangers this season, he went just 4.2 innings and got the no decision after giving up just one run on five hits and two walks in August. In his last five starts against the Rangers, he’s gone 1-1 with a 7.06 ERA and has only made it out of the fifth inning once in those starts.

Andrew Cashner will make his sixth start against the Astros this season, his last start against them on August 30 was his first win. He went eight innings, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out six. He’s gone at least six innings in every start against the Astros except in June when he went just four.

GAME TWO

The ace off? Cole Hamels and Dallas Keuchel will take the mound in game two. This will be Hamels’s second start against Houston this year and Keuchel will face the Rangers for fourth time.

Hamels shutout the Astros in seven innings on August 11, giving up just three hits, two walks, and striking out five. He’s gone 3-3 in his last seven starts with a 4.53 ERA. In his last start against Seattle he went eight innings, giving up one run (a solo home run) on three hits and two walks, striking out eight.

Keuchel has also been 3-3 in his last seven starts with a 3.38 ERA. He got the loss in his last start against the White Sox after giving up two runs on five hits and three walks in six innings.

In his only other start against the Rangers this season, Keuchel went six innings, giving up six runs on five hits and three walks in six innings and got the loss.

GAME THREE

The Rangers will face Houston Astro Justin Verlander for the first time in the series finale, and they’ll have Nick Martinez matching up against him. Verlander has four starts as an Astro and has been lights out, going 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He’s given up just two runs in those four starts, both being solo homers. Just 11 hits and five walks in 28 innings.

Verlander is 10-6 in 19 games against the Rangers in his career.

Nick Martinez last faced the Astros in a loss on July 31, that night Houston made the move for Verlander. Martinez gave up two runs on five hits in five innings.