Texas Arlington, 7:05 p.m. (CT)
TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Rangers SBNation Blog: Lone Star Ball
RHP Jordan Lyles ( 7-8 / 5.26 ERA / 1.47 WHIP) vs. LHP Derek Holland ( 9-9 / 3.62 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)
The Astros already have the first-overall pick in the draft for the third straight season locked up, which is one step above a participation ribbon. The Astros of course aren't playing for a playoff spot, but they are playing for pride and themselves. The one thing that could make this season worth while even with the losses, strikeouts, pitching explosions, and base-path errors is the thought of knocking the Rangers out of the playoffs. It won't be easy of course, the Astros are 2-14 against their neighbors to the north. But, a man can dream right?
The Rangers sit on the knife's edge ready to fall one way or the other, either backing into the playoffs or joining their football counterparts as the new universal sign for choking.
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||86||69||.554||0||Won 3|
|Kansas City||82||73||.529||4||Won 1|
|New York||82||74||.525||4.5||Lost 1|
|Los Angeles||76||79||.490||10||Lost 1|
(updated 9.23.2013 at 4:22 PM CDT)
Jordan Lyles is making his second start against Texas this season, he had one of his worse games this season in his first encounter on May 12. Lyles gave up eight runs on 11 hits over four innings. Moving today, Lyles hasn't been much better in the month of September with a 1-1 record and 6.32 ERA. The Astros right-hander has failed to get a win in five career starts against the Rangers - 0-4, 8.54 ERA, 2.165 WHIP.
Two players seem to have Lyles' number, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy. Beltre is batting .400 (6-15) with two double and 2 runs batted in his career against the right-hander. David Murphy is 4-for-6 with two home runs, five runs batted in, and three walks. Ian Kinsler may only 3-for-11 against Lyles but he has four career walks. Elvis Andrus is 4-for-11 with a walk.
On the mound for the Rangers is Derek Holland. Holland has been one the Rangers' best pitchers this season coming into September, but he is imploding to close out the season. He has zero wins and three losses with a 7.91 ERA and 1.81 WHIP thus far in September. Holland has made two starts this season against Houston, giving up five runs over 12 innings of work. Chris Carter has taken Holland deep for a solo home run and is batting .286 (4-14) his career against Holland. Jose Altuve is 2-for-8 with a double. Trevor Crowe and Marwin Gonzalez each a double as their lone hit against Holland in their young careers. Matt Dominguez (4 AB, 2K) and Brett Wallace (6 AB, 3K) have recored a strikeout in half of their at-bats against Holland.