Game Preview: Rangers at Astros, Take 2

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse.

Tuesday marks the second game of a three-game set with the Rangers. If the anchor of TCB's lineup's prediction is to come true, the Astros will need to win with Dallas Keuchel on the mound. They'll be facing Matt Harrison, who is not pitching on Dog Day. Probably for the best.

Some other notes before the game, thanks to Houston's crack PR release: 

  • Keuchel is making his sixth start against the Rangers and his first start of 2014 vs. Texas. He's 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA in those six games.
  • You know how good Keuchel has been at inducing grounder this season, but let's reiterate it. He leads the majors in ground ball rate. He's tops among major league pitchers in ground ball to fly ball ratio at 3.57. He's second in the majors and tops in the AL in since the start of 2013 in GB/FB ratio at 2.74. 
  • Oh, and to supplement all that, he's got 40 strikeouts in 44 innings this season and his K/9 rate ranks fifth among lefties in the majors. It's also about two strikeouts per nine above his career rate entering the season.
  • Last night's loss to the Rangers was the eighth consecutive game where Astros starters have gone at least six innings. It's the longest such streak since June 9-19 of last season. During that stretch, Astros starters have an ERA of 3.31.
  • Jose Altuve is 6 for his last 9 and his six 3-hit games this season ties him for the lead in the American League.
  • Houston is 6-14 at home this season, 4-7 with the roof open and 2-7 with the roof closed. Rain in the area Tuesday night likely means the roof will be closed for game time, though it was open for BP.
  • Houston has only won two of 12 series this season. They've also been swept three times.
  • Houston is 9-7 when scoring first and 3-20 when its opponent scores first.
  • Hope for a long ball. Houston is 11-11 when hitting at least home run and 1-16 when not hitting a home run.
  • The Astros have lost nine games this season after leading and only have four come-from-behind wins.
  • The Astros have used 31 different batting orders this season, unveiling a new one Tuesday with George Springer batting second between Jose Altuve and Dexter Fowler. Matt Dominguez also takes a turn as cleanup hitter. 
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