The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will wrap up a brief two-game series when they clash at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Wednesday night.
Allard on a winning streak
The Rangers are trying to finish the season with a winning record but dropped three in a row to Oakland over the weekend to fall to 74-77 and will only see teams with winning records the rest of the way–Houston, Oakland, Boston, and the Yankees. Catcher Jeff Mathis (back strain) is not expected to play in this series against the Astros. That is bad news, too, because Texas needs all the power it can get based on how many runs its pitching staff has given up of late. In fact, the Athletics crossed the plate 28 times in the three contests. The opposition has scored at least four runs on the Rangers in nine consecutive games.
Sunday Scaries. 🥴 pic.twitter.com/TYQMzH2asB
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 15, 2019
Left-hander Kolby Allard (4-0, 4.34 ERA) is taking the mound for Texas on Wednesday. Allard is undefeated in seven starts this season even though he has been unspectacular. The Rangers have won each of his last six outings after dropping his team debut at Milwaukee on Aug. 9. Allard most recently faced Tampa Bay last Thursday, when he logged 4.0 innings and surrendered four runs on seven hits and three walks to go along with one strikeout during a 6-4 victory for Texas. The 22-year-old has never gone up against Houston.
Five hits for Reddick
The Astros are in a battle with the Yankees for the best record in the American League and the top spot in the AL playoffs and don’t appear to be ready to ease off the gas despite a comfortable division lead. They will try to extend their latest winning streak during this series against Texas. Houston ripped through a three-game series at Kansas City over the weekend, winning by a combined margin 22-5. Thus the team is two wins away (tied with the Yankees at 98-53) from clinching its third consecutive 100-win campaign. The Astros, who will play their final 11 regular-season games against sub-.500 division opponents are getting production from up and down the lineup and watched outfielder Josh Reddick carry the load with a career-high five hits in Sunday’s 12-3 rout of the Royals.
“They’re telling me to go out and get the fifth one and, as soon as I hit it and it got through the infield, I could hear my dugout as I was running down the baseline,” Reddick commented. “A great feeling all around. These days don’t come around without a few lucky hits in there.”
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Gerrit Cole (17-5, 2.62 ERA) will oppose Allard on Wednesday. The right-hander has been outstanding in his second season with the Astros; even better than in his first one, in fact (15-5, 2.88 ERA). Cole has been borderline unhittable since the start of the summer, compiling ERAs of 1.89 in June, 1.85 in July, 2.36 in August, and 0.82 in September. The 29-year-old most recently went up against Kansas City last Friday, when he pitched 8.0 innings of one-run baseball (zero earned) while allowing four hits and two walks to go along with 11 strikeouts during a 4-1 victory for Houston.
The Texas Rangers are:
- 7-22 in their last 29 games against teams with winning records
- 8-23 in their last 31 road games against teams with home winning percentages over .600
- 0-5 in their last five games against Houston
The Houston Astros are:
- 39-16 in their last 55 overall
- 48-17 in their last 65 home games
- 63-19 in their last 82 games against teams with losing records