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Game No. 65 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers

The cracks are starting to show for the Astros and now the team faces the Rangers.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (44-20) vs. Texas Rangers (30-32), June 12, 2017, 7:10 p.m. CT

Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Rangers SBNation Blog: Lone Star Ball

Pitching Matchup

RHP Joe Musgrove (4-4, 4.89 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (5-4, 3.18 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)


The Houston Astros put their fifth starting pitcher on the disabled list this season on Monday by placing Lance McCullers Jr. on the 10-day DL with back pain. Tonight’s Astros starter Joe Musgrove exited the DL to face the Rangers at Minute Maid Park.

Musgrove left for the DL on a high note, pitching seven shutout innings against the Orioles on May 26. Musgrove was skipped twice in the rotation with right shoulder discomfort.

Musgrove hasn’t been his best at home with a 2-4 record and a 5.20 ERA in seven starts. He was 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 6 games (five starts) in 2016 at Minute Maid Park.

He will be making his second start against the Rangers. On May 4, he allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits over four innings (85 pitches) in a loss. He struck out five and walked three. The Rangers were able to get Musgrove into the air, he had his lowest groundball-to-flyball ratio (0.84) in one start in 2017.

Rougned Odor has one home run in two at-bats against Musgrove this season. Nomar Mazara, Mike Napoli, and Joey Gallo collected hits against Musgrove in that start.

Yu Darvish makes the start for the Rangers on Monday. He is 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA in his past three starts. Darvish is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in five road starts this season.

Darvish faces the Astros for the second time in June. He was the tough-luck loser on June 2 — allowing three earned runs in five innings. The Astros did a good job of making Darvish work, he threw 104 pitches in those five innings of work.

Hot free agents

Two of the Astors free agent signings, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick, have been swinging hots bats this past week. McCann is batting .474 (9x19) with three home runs and six RBIs in his last five games. Reddick is batting .375 (12x32) with four doubles and two RBIs.

While Carlos Beltran is struggling at .111 (3x27) tied the team-high eight strikeouts in the last seven games.

Outfield bats

The Rangers three hottest swingers can be found in the outfield. Delino DeShields (.444), Jared Hoying (.400), Nomar Mazara (.400), and Shin-Soo Choo (.375) are batting over .350 in the team’s last five games.

Beltre ankle

The Rangers great Adrian Beltre nearly went back on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. But instead after staying out of the lineup for a few days, Beltre returned on June 10, saying “I'm not going to go out there 100 percent, but it is what it is. I'm going to find a way to play with this. I'm not worried about the risk.”