The Lone Star Rivalry adds another chapter to its history as a pair of AL West rivals continue the opening series of the second half of the season on the diamond. The Houston Astros are on the road as they play the second game of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers Friday night. Houston took two of three at home from the Angels over the weekend, prevailing 11-10 in 10 innings in the rubber game Sunday afternoon. Texas avoided a three-game sweep on the road in Minnesota as they claimed a 4-1, 11-inning, win Sunday. The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener saw Framber Valdez take the mound for Houston against Texas’ Lance Lynn. First pitch in that contest was set for 8:05 pm ET.
Houston Astros Try to Build Off Hot First Half Finish
Houston won for the ninth time in 12 games after snapping a seven-game slide as they managed to earn a walk-off win over the Angels Sunday. The Astros enter this contest with a comfortable 7.5-game advantage over the A’s in the AL West race. Houston got four hits from Michael Brantley (three runs) while George Springer (RBI), Yordan Alvarez (three RBI) and Tyler White (run, RBI) each added three in the victory. Jose Urquidi didn’t factor in the decision on the mound as he was chased after 2.1 innings: he allowed five runs on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Ryan Pressly (2-1) threw a scoreless 10th, allowing a hit and striking out two, to pick up the win.
Gerrit Cole gets the call for his 20th start of the year for the Astros in this contest and he looks to maintain his recent momentum. He has been good lately after a slow start, posting a 9-5 record with a 3.09 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, 30 walks and 170 strikeouts over 116.2 innings of work this season. Cole ran his unbeaten streak to eight as he picked up the win in his last start, which came Saturday at home against the Angels. He threw seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in a 4-0 Houston triumph. Cole is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, five walks and 22 strikeouts over 20 innings in his last three starts. He is 4-2 with a 3.72 ERA, a 1.097 WHIP, 17 walks and 78 strikeouts over 48.1 innings in eight career starts against the Rangers. Cole is 3-2 with a 4.33 ERA, a 1.274 WHIP, 16 walks and 52 strikeouts over 35.1 innings in six career starts at Globe Life Park.
Texas Rangers Looking to Gain Ground in Wild Card Race
Texas stumbled into the All-Star break, dropping six of seven before beating Minnesota in the series finale Sunday. The Rangers enter this game third in the AL West, nine games behind Houston: they were three games behind the Indians for the second wild card spot. Texas got four hits from Danny Santana (RBI) while Joey Gallo (two runs) and Shin-soo Choo each had two. Rougned Odor had the big blast with a three-run homer, his 13th, in the 11th inning to break a 1-1 tie. Jose Leclerc served as the opener and gave up a run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout over 1.2 innings. Shaun Kelley (4-2) tossed two scoreless innings, allowing two hits with no walks and two strikeouts, to earn the win.
Jesse Chavez takes the mound for his 38th appearance and eighth start of the season for the Rangers in this contest. He is 3-4 with a 3.30 ERA, a 1.197 WHIP, 17 walks and 59 strikeouts over 62.2 innings of work. Chavez took the loss in his last start, which came on the road against the Twins on Saturday. He allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 7-4 Texas defeat. Chavez is 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, two walks and 18 strikeouts over 17.1 innings in his last three starts. He is 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA, a 1.269 WHIP, 31 walks and 72 strikeouts over 84.1 innings in 33 career appearances, nine starts, against the Astros. Chavez is 4-6 with a 5.04 ERA, a 1.289 WHIP, 19 walks and 84 strikeouts over 94.2 innings in 47 career appearances, 11 starts, at Globe Life Park.
- Astros are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record
- Astros are 39-12 in their last 51 vs. American League West
- Astros are 41-17 in their last 58 Friday games
- Rangers are 2-6 in their last 8 overall
- Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600