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Game No. 60 Preview: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

The only positive at the moment is the Astros can wash away Monday's game with a victory tonight.

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Houston Astros (28-31) at Texas Rangers (35-22), June 7, 2016, 7:05 PM CT

TV: Root Sports Southwest
Online: MLB.TV
Radio: KBME SportsTalk 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM (En Español) 
Texas Rangers SB Nation Blog: Lone Star Ball

Pitching Matchup

LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-7, 5.50 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.39 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Preview

Monday's game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers was a death by 1,000 paper cuts. The Astros repeatedly shot themselves in the foot in the field and at the plate. For the most part, the pitching held up. The three-run inning in the first can't 100% be put on Mike Fiers and the ninth inning meltdown can't 100% percent be put on Ken Giles.

The Astros need to clean up their play in the field. A misstep by Marwin Gonzales and Carlos Correa led directly to runs being scored for the Rangers. The Astros bats were 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Monday. The team had runners on first and third with no out and couldn't find a way to get a runner home.

If Houston wants to turn the tide against the Rangers they have to start with a win. Ken Giles' statement that the Astros lineup is better then the Rangers isn't far off. At least, the two rosters have proven to be playoff caliber. But Texas has outplayed Houston in every aspect with hustle and confidence.

Tuesday can be a real turning point for the Astros season even with their success to end May. If the Astros can get a big win from their ace Dallas Keuchel that will go a long way in improving the confidence in the team and Keuchel.

Keuchel has struggled mightily in his post-Cy Young Award campaign.  He was 2-3 with a 4.41 ERA in five April starts and 1-3 with a 6.63 ERA in six May starts. But Keuchel has turned it around a bit in his last two starts, he has allowed just five runs over his last 13 innings.

Keuchel's biggest struggles this season has come against the Rangers this season. In two starts, he has allowed 13 runs over 12 innings on 19 hits. Have the Rangers figured Keuchel out? We shall see.

Keuchel is 4-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 16 career start against the Rangers, and he is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in seven career starts at Globe Life Field. Current Rangers are batting .252 (51x202) with a .294 BABIP, 3.34 FIP, 18.0 K%, and a 5.1 BB% against Keuchel.

TEXAS RANGERS CAREER STATISTICS VS. DALLAS KEUCHEL
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Hanser Alberto 5 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.400 0.400 0.400 0.800
Elvis Andrus 47 11 1 1 0 5 3 8 0.234 0.275 0.298 0.572
Adrian Beltre 46 12 4 0 1 5 3 5 0.261 0.306 0.413 0.719
Robinson Chirinos 13 2 1 0 0 0 1 4 0.154 0.214 0.231 0.445
Shin-Soo Choo 23 6 3 0 0 1 0 7 0.261 0.280 0.391 0.671
Delino DeShields 16 2 1 0 0 1 2 4 0.125 0.222 0.188 0.410
Ian Desmond 8 4 1 0 1 5 1 2 0.500 0.556 1.000 1.556
Prince Fielder 30 8 2 0 1 4 2 5 0.267 0.313 0.433 0.746
Josh Hamilton 18 7 0 0 1 2 0 6 0.389 0.389 0.556 0.944
Bryan Holaday 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.400 0.400 0.400 0.800
Nomar Mazara 7 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 0.429 0.429 0.571 1.000
Mitch Moreland 13 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 0.077 0.143 0.154 0.297
Rougned Odor 17 2 0 0 1 2 1 4 0.118 0.211 0.294 0.505
Jurickson Profar 6 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.333
Ryan Rua 10 5 1 0 0 1 0 2 0.500 0.545 0.600 1.145
Drew Stubbs 9 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.111 0.111 0.111 0.222
Bobby Wilson 5 2 1 0 0 2 0 3 0.400 0.400 0.600 1.000

The Rangers counter with their ace against Keuchel, Cole Hamels. Hamels has allowed eight runs over his last 11 2/3 innings on 12 hits and five walks. He is 2-1 with a 4.72 ERA in six starts at home this season.

Hamels is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 14.2 innings against the Astros this season. Hamels is 6-3 with a 4.19 ERA in 13 career starts aginst the Astros.

Current Astros are batting .220 (27x123) against Hamels with a .250 BABIP, 25.2 K%, and a 4.4 BB%.

HOUSTON ASTROS CAREER STATISTICS VS. COLE HAMELS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jose Altuve 13 5 0 0 1 2 1 1 0.385 0.500 0.615 1.115
Jason Castro 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.333
Carlos Correa 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.091 0.091 0.091 0.182
Evan Gattis 20 7 0 0 3 3 0 3 0.350 0.350 0.800 1.150
Carlos Gomez 20 5 1 0 0 1 1 5 0.250 0.304 0.300 0.604
Marwin Gonzalez 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Jake Marisnick 8 3 2 0 0 0 1 3 0.375 0.444 0.625 1.069
Colby Rasmus 16 5 0 0 1 3 1 4 0.313 0.353 0.500 0.853
George Springer 9 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0.000 0.182 0.000 0.182
Luis Valbuena 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
Tyler White 6 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 0.167 0.167 0.667 0.833

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