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Game 138 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Arlington Rangers

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Astros send Dallas Keuchel to the mound in hopes of closing out another series victory against the Rangers.

Bob Levey

Houston Astros (57-79) at Arlington Rangers (53-82), 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 (10-9, 3.05 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) vs. RHP Nick Martinez (3-10, 5.31 ERA, 1.61 WHIP)

Preview

It's been an interesting second half of the season to say the least for Sunday's starter Dallas Keuchel. Since the All-Star break, Keuchel has a 2.73 in 56 innings - striking out 41 and walking 15. But, the Astros' lefty is only 1-4 in those eight start. The root for these lackluster results in the win column stems from the fact that Keuchel is tied for dead last in average run support during the same time period - he is tied with Phil Hughes at 2.88 per game.

Houston's mighty lefty will square off against the Rangers for the fourth time in 2014. In his three previous starts, he has a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings - 4 walks and 14 strikeouts. In his first outing this season against the Rangers he pitched a complete game shutout, but he has given nine runs over his has 12.2 innings against Arlington.

In his last start, August 26 against the Athletics, Keuchel pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on five hits.

Adrian Beltre is batting .280 (7-25) with four extra-base hits in his career against Keuchel. Alex Rios is batting .353 (6-17) with three doubles. Daniel Robertson is 2-for-6 with a double.

The Rangers send out Nick Martinez for the Sunday start. Martinez can't seem to string together quality, he can only manage every other start. This month he has given up five runs to the White Sox, two runs to Houston, four runs to the Angels, and five runs to the Mariners. If the trends continues the Astros will be on the wrong end of Martinez's roller coaster month.

As previously mentioned Martinez gave up just two runs in his last outing against Houston, going five innings in the start. Martinez had made two previous appearances against Houston out the bullpen for Arlington, allowing one run over three innings.

Jose Altuve is 2-for-4 with a double against Martinez in his career. Matt Dominguez is 3-for-4 against the righty, and Marwin Gonzalez is 1-for-2 with a double.