Series Preview: Astros vs. Rangers, May 4 - May 6, 2015
Funny how the tables have turned in the Astros and Rangers rivalry. The question surrounding the team down south was "can the Astros win enough to make the Lone Star Series a rivalry?" With in just two seasons, the question is now in the Rangers' lap.
In 2014, the Astros took the Silver Boot Trophy home to Houston for the first time since 2006. The Rangers swept a three-game series with the Astros in the final week of the 2014 to bring the season series to 11-8. Before for that the Astros had won eight-straight game against the Rangers at one time.
The teams in Texas bookend the American League West, Houston has A.L.-leading record of 18-7 and the Rangers are 8-16 thus far in 2015. The Astros have won their last 10 games and the Rangers are 1-5 in their last two series.
The Astros spoiled the Rangers home opener, winning 5-1 with Collin McHugh on the mound. Jed Lowrie and Colby Rasmus each hit a home run to put the game away. The Rangers took game two behind a strong effort by Dallas-area native Yovani Gallardo with errors from Marwin Gonzalez and Colby Rasmus. The took the final game of the series in extra-innings with a two-run home run from Hank Conger.
Game 1: LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.73 ERA, 0.73 WHIP) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (0-3, 8.66 ERA, 2.21 WHIP)
Game 2: RHP Scott Feldman (2-2, 4.31 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) vs. LHP Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 4.82 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
Game 3: RHP Samuel Deduno (0-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (1-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)
Major League Baseball was named Dallas Keuchel the American League Pitcher of the Month for April, after posting a 3-0 in five starts with a 0.73 ERA and 3.61 ground ball to fly ball rate. In his career, Keuchel is 2-3 with 3.95 ERA in 10 career starts against the Rangers. Ross Detwiler has struggled this season, posting a 0-3 record with 8.66 ERA in four games.
Scott Feldman has posted three-straight quality starts coming into his start on Tuesday. The Rangers counter with an old face, Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez started camp with the Braves and was cut before the season started. Wandy signed with the Rangers and has made two starts for the Rangers thus far. He allowed one run through five against the struggling Angels in his first start, and gave up four over 4 1/3 innings in Arlington against the Mariners in his second start.
Samuel Deduno earned another start after stepping in for a spot start on May 1. He allowed only one run on three hits through four innings against the Mariners. Colby Lews is coming off six scoreless innings against the Athletics on May 1. Lewis 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 8 starts vs. the Rangers since 2010.
Jose Altuve has lead the way for the Astros, batting .467 on the way to being named AL Co-Player of the Week. Jake Marisnick has been just as hot batting .417 in his last 24 at-bats with four extra-base hits. Evan Gattis has five of his last seven hits have been home runs.
Prince Fielder has been coming alive in his last 23 at-bats, batting .348 with three extra-base hits. Fielders has been the designated hitter for the most part for the Rangers, while Kyle Blanks has played the field - he is batting .333 with two home runs in his last 15 at-bats.
The streak comes to an end, the Astros win the first two games of the series and drop the finale. Chris Carter and George Springer find their streak with the Rangers pitchers in town.