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Game 118 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Arlington Rangers

Dallas Keuchel aims to extend the Astros winning streak against the Rangers.

Bob Levey

Houston Astros (49-68) vs. Arlington Rangers (45-71), 1:10 p.m. (CST)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV 
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Rangers SBNation BlogLone Star Ball

Pitching matchup

LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-7, 2.89 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) vs. RHP Nick Martinez (1-8, 5.31 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)


The Astros have been on a roller coaster this week, swept by the Phillies and now they have the brooms ready for Rangers. Funny how one season ago (and frankly almost every season since 2006) the Rangers have used a series against the Astros as a way to right the ship or get back in the win column. Not in 2014, after the Rangers took the first series in Arlington as the result of a few one-run wins - the Astros have won seven straight games against the team up north.

If you were looking at this series on paper, it's easy to say that Sunday's game had the highest probability of an Astros. Why? Dallas Kuechel, that's why. Kuechel was a near All-Star before the break, and after quick dip in performance he is right back to that same form. He has allowed only two runs over his last 23 innings, collecting 16 strikeouts and 40 ground ball outs during his last three games.

Keuchel has won both of his starts against the Rangers this season, including a complete game shut out on May 13. In his most recent outing he gave up four runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings.

One again resident Astro-killer, Adrian Beltre has the most hits of any the current Rangers in their careers against Keuchel. Beltre is 6-for-22 with three doubles. Alex Rios is 5-for-5 with two doubles. On the flip side, Keuchel has kept a few Rangers in check - Elvis Andrus si 4-for-22, Shin-Soo Choo is 2-for-10, and Leonys Martin 0-for-3.

Nick Martinez has been nothing short of a disaster, he has a 7.84 ERA in his last ten outings and hasn't won a start since May. This season Martinez has made two relief appearances, giving up one runs over three innings. Matt Dominguez is 2-for-2 in his career against Martinez.