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Game No. 56 Preview: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

Earn it again.

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (39-16) vs. Texas Rangers (26-29), June 3, 2017, 6:15 p.m. CT

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

Pitching Matchup

RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (2-4, 2.92 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)


The Houston Astros kicked in the door at Globe Life Field on Friday night and announced their presence as the new team in charge of the AL West. Now the goal on Saturday is to keep that momentum and prevent 2015 and 2016 like collapses to slowly manifest themselves.

The Astros have the ideal starter (after Dallas Keuchel) going in game two to make sure the Astros stay in the win column. Lance McCullers Jr. comes in on a roll. He was selected as the American League Pitcher of the Month for the month of May.

McCullers compiled a 4-0 record in six starts during the month. He had 0.99 ERA (4ER/36.1IP) with 37 strikeouts and allowed only 21 hits for a .164 opponent batting average.

McCullers comes into his start on Saturday with a game against the Rangers already under his belt. He allowed two earned runs over six innings on May 1 in an Astros 6-2 win. Overall, McCullers hasn’t had a ton of success against the Rangers, he is 0-3 with a 6.27 ERA in four career starts. He has struck out 23 and walked nine over 18 2/3 innings, and given up three home runs.

McCullers' road numbers don't look as impressive as his home numbers, but they have steadily improved in 2017. He is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in five road starts in 2017. In three road starts in May, he allowed zero earned runs over 19 innings.

Mike Napoli is locked in his career against McCullers, going 5-for-8 with two home runs. Elvis Andrus (4-for-8) and Shin-Soo Choo (3-for-7) also had success. Rougned Odor not so much, he is 2-for-9 with two strikeouts.

McCullers attempt to outduel a Texas native Andrew Cashner, who was born in Conroe. The seven-year veteran was traded to the Marlins this past year at the deadline and signed with the Ranger to revitalize his career. Thus far it has worked. Cashner has a 2.92 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and a 1.4 WAR through 52 1/3 innings.

Not bad for a guy on a one-year, $10 million contract.

Cashner as been even better at Globe Life Park, he is 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA in four home starts. He is 2-2 with a 2.92 ERA In six starts during the month of May. He is facing the Astros for the second time in 2017. He previously allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings on three hits on May 1 in an Astros 6-2 win.

Cashner is 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 career games (three starts) against the Astros.

Nori Aoki leads the way with 16 at-bats against Cashner, he 4-for-16 with two walks and two strikeouts. Jose Altuve is 1-fo-5 against Cashner, Josh Reddick is 1-for-6 and George Springer is 2-for-6.