The Rangers and Astros were the only show in town for Major League Baseball tonight as they opened the second half of the season as the lone game on the docket in primetime on ESPN. For the Rangers, you couldn’t ask for much more than showcasing their surprising season with a 5-0 shutdown of AL West leading Houston.
In fact, it was never even really close. Texas scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning before Astros’ starter Framber Valdez could even make it out of the inning.
Overall, Texas enjoyed hits from every member of the starting lineup and saw Rougned Odor in particular star at the plate with two doubles, including the biggest hit of the night when he laced a two-RBI double with two-outs in the first to break open the game.
We’ve been following along as the Rangers have exceeded expectations in the first half but it was fun watching them come out for the second half and show off to a national audience how they’ve been a vastly more entertaining bunch than anyone could have imagined them to be this year.
Player of the Game: Lance Lynn came into his second half-opening start tonight as the AL’s fWAR leader. He’ll almost assuredly pad that lead after tonight’s dominating turn against one of the most feared offenses in the sport. Lynn tossed seven shutout innings in the hottest gametime temperature contest of the year so far as he worked around six hits and two walks by striking out 11 Astros.
Furthermore, Lance Lynn now leads the baseball world in wins with 12.
Up Next: The Rangers won the opener tonight, and have a chance to tie the Silver Boot series at six apiece, but they will begin to face the gauntlet of top starters from Houston beginning Friday as RHP Jesse Chavez will make his turn against RHP Gerrit Cole for the Astros. First pitch from Arlington is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.