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Houston Astros (51-105) at Texas Rangers (84-71), 7:05 pm (CT)

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Astros hope to play spoiler with neighbors to the north.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Houston At 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

Pitching Match

RHP Jordan Lyles ( 7-8 / 5.26 ERA / 1.47 WHIP) vs. LHP Derek Holland ( 9-9 / 3.62 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)

Preview

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

W L PCT GB STRK
Tampa Bay 86 69 .554 0 Won 3
Cleveland 86 70 .551 0.5 Won 4
Texas 84 71 .541 2 Lost 1
Kansas City 82 73 .529 4 Won 1
New York 82 74 .525 4.5 Lost 1
Baltimore 81 74 .522 5 Lost 4
Los Angeles 76 79 .490 10 Lost 1
Toronto 71 84 .458 15 Lost 1
Seattle 68 88 .435 18.5 Won 1
Minnesota 65 90 .419 21 Lost 4
Chicago 61 94 .393 25 Won 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.