Houston Astros (71-43) vs. Texas Rangers (54-59)
MLB Baseball: Saturday August 12th, 8:05 pm EST
Mike Fiers (7-6, 4.06 ERA) vs. TBD
The Astros take on the Rangers in the middle game of a three game series on Saturday in Texas. This was supposed to be the two teams (along with the Mariners) who would be competing for the AL West crown, and this series figured to be a big one when the schedule came out. It was not meant to be, however. The Rangers didn’t make the bell.
The Astros have run away with the division from the very beginning, and the Rangers have been a huge disappointment. The Rangers currently trail the Astros by 16.5, although by some miracle they are still only 3.5 games out of the wild card. It will be tougher now that they have traded Yu Darvish, however. They have won only four of 10 games and they don’t seem to have any momentum to make a wrong. I think they might be done.
Fiers looks for 8th win
Mike Fiers will be looking for his eighth win on Saturday, and more importunely, he’ll be performing over the rest of the season to try and get a spot in the playoff rotation. There’s really not much more for Astros players, or pitchers, at stake in these games. The Mariners are in second place and trail them by 13 games. Barring a huge collapse, the Astros will win this division.
Fiers has been solid, if unspectacular. He’s one game over .500 at 7-6, but that’s not saying much considering the team is 28 games over .500. His ERA is a pedestrian 4.06 and he’s given up 13 earned runs over his last three starts. He need to pick it up if he hopes to get starts in the postseason.
Rangers go with……
The Rangers have yet to decide who they will be throwing on Saturday, which in many ways sums up there abysmal year. This is the same team who won the most games in the AL last year. They were then swept by the Blue Jays in the ALDS and it looks like they never recovered from that. The one nice thing of the season was seeing Adrian Beltre getting his 3,000 hit.
Their two best pitchers to start the year were Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish. Hamels has been on the DL for most of the year and Darvish has been traded to the Dodgers. It no longer looks like the original team, and despite being only 3.5 games out of the second wild card, I don’t see them making a run. I think they’ve mailed it in.
The Houston Astros are:
- 20-6 in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- 10-4 in their last 14 vs. American League West.
- 38-17 in their last 55 road games.
The Texas Rangers are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 home games.
- 6-14 in their last 20 games on grass.
- 1-5 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
Mike Fiers is taking the mound for the Astros on Saturday, and the Rangers still haven’t decided who will be opposing him. Not that it matters. The Astros are the better team, and I expect them to win easily on Saturday. The Rangers are toast despite only being 3.5 games out of the second wild card.