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Game 117 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Arlington Rangers

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The Astros attempt to take one more step closer to taking home the silver boot against the Rangers and Yu Darvish.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (48-68) vs. Arlington Rangers (45-70), 6:10 p.m. (CST)

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

Pitching matchup

RHP Scott Feldman (5-8, 4.13 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) Vs. RHP Yu Darvish (10-6, 2.82 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Preview

The reign of the Rangers may soon be coming to an end, at least for this season when it comes to the Silver Boot. The Astros haven't held the boot outright since 2006. But, Houston is seven and three against the Rangers this season with ten games to go. The Astros have a six-game winning streak against the Rangers. Let me say that again. The Astros have a six-game winning streak against the Rangers. I don't care if it's against a shell of what you would call the Rangers, it still feels good.

At this point I want want give Yu Darvish some kind of nickname, because every time he faces the Astros I expect him to pinch a no-hitter or a perfect game - Darvish Vader? On April 11, he pitched like he had a chokehold (force grip, take your pick) the Astros bats - holding Houston to one run on eight hits. He was mortal in his second outing against Houston on July 9, giving up six over six. In Houston, Darvish is 3-0 in three starts with a 1.52 ERA.

Since that poor outing against Houston, Darvish has been lights out. He has given up just six runs over his last 25 innings. Darvish's most recent start was at Cleveland, he held the tribe to one run over seven innings.

Not many Astros have hit Darvish well, thus his successful track record. Matt Dominguez is one of the rare few, he is 4-for-17 with three home runs in his career. Marc Krauss and Robbie Grossman are 3-for-11, and Grossman has a home run.

Scott Feldman takes the mound to be the calming veteran force the Astros today. Feldman has come back to life in his past few starts - allowing just two runs over his last 16 inning. Feldman pitched a complete game in his last start against the Blue Jay. In his first of two outing this season against his former team, Feldman allowed zero earned runs over seven innings only days after the passing of his father. In the second outing, the Rangers had a hit party. Arlington collected 10 hits over five innings that resulted in four runs before Feldman was pulled.

Adrian Beltre is batting .250 with a double and home run against Feldman in his career.