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Game Preview No. 15: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Houston Astros (5-9) vs. Texas Rangers (8-6), Apr 20, 2016 7:05 PM CDT

TV: ROOT SPORTS Southwest
Online: MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790, La Nueva 94.1 FM (En Español) 
Rangers SB Nation Blog: Lone Star Ball

Pitching Matchup

RHP Doug Fister (1-1, 7.59 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (2-0, 2.95 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)

Preview

Nothing broke the Houston Astros' way in game one of the Lone Star Series. Hard Astros hits found the Texas Rangers' gloves and soft bloop hits found holes in the Astros defense. Pitching was what ultimately did in the Astros on Tuesday. Scott Feldman went only five innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits.

The Astros will need more from Doug Fister if they hope to give Dallas Keuchel the ball in game three with a chance for a series win. Fister hasn't been able to produce that much-needed quality start this season for the Astros. In his first two starts, Fister has allowed nine runs over 10 innings. He hasn’t been able to get out of the fifth inning in either start.

Fister’s fastball velocity has continued drop, making his job even harder: 87.9 in 2014, 86.4 in 2015 and 85.1 in 2016 (stats per FanGraphs.com).

Current Rangers hitters are batting .251 (45/179) against Fister with a .282 BABIP, 3.200 FIP, 14.06 K%, and 3.00 BB%.

TEXAS RANGERS CAREER STATISTICS VS. DOUG FISTER
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Elvis Andrus 31 7 1 0 0 1 1 4 0.226 0.273 0.258 0.531
Adrian Beltre 23 8 2 0 0 4 0 0 0.348 0.333 0.435 0.768
Robinson Chirinos 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Shin-Soo Choo 31 10 3 0 2 5 1 4 0.323 0.344 0.613 0.957
Ian Desmond 4 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.250 0.400 0.250 0.650
Prince Fielder 2 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 1.000 1.000 3.000 4.000
Josh Hamilton 19 3 1 0 0 2 1 5 0.158 0.261 0.211 0.471
Mitch Moreland 18 3 0 0 0 2 0 2 0.167 0.158 0.167 0.325
Rougned Odor 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0.500 0.500 1.000 1.500
Jurickson Profar 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.667 0.667 0.667 1.333

Cole Hamels makes his second start against Houston since being traded to the Rangers. Hamels allowed three runs over seven innings in the one start in 2015.

Current Astros are batting .211 (12x57) against Hamels with a .256 BABIP, 2.777 FIP, 26.23 K%, and 0.00 BB% rate.

HOUSTON ASTROS CAREER STATISTICS VS. COLE HAMELS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jose Altuve 8 4 0 0 1 1 0 1 0.500 0.500 0.875 1.375
Carlos Correa 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Evan Gattis 13 4 0 0 2 2 0 2 0.308 0.308 0.769 1.077
Carlos Gomez 18 4 1 0 0 1 0 4 0.222 0.250 0.278 0.528
Erik Kratz 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Jake Marisnick 6 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.333 0.333 0.500 0.833
Colby Rasmus 10 3 0 0 1 3 0 2 0.300 0.300 0.600 0.900
George Springer 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Luis Valbuena 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333