MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 070
Texas4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 5110
  W: L. Lynn (12-4)   L: F. Valdez (3-5)
5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, July 11, 2019
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas  Attendance: 37,964

Astros visit Rangers looking to widen division lead

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

  1. The Astros will make their final regular-season visit to Globe Life Park, where they've gone 42-57 all-time, including 2-4 this season. However, the Astros swept the teams' most recent meeting in Houston, outscoring the Rangers, 33-11, in a four-game set in Houston from May 9-12.
  2. Houston won seven of its last eight games to close out the first half with a 57-33 record, tied with the Yankees for the most wins in the AL. Astros starters have allowed a .279 opponent OBP so far this season, which would be the lowest mark in franchise history, besting the 1981 team (.282).
  3. After cutting their AL West deficit to just 4.5 games on the evening of June 28, the Rangers lost six of their last eight games and now trail the Astros by nine games. Rangers starters have posted a combined 6.03 ERA when pitching 6+ days after their last start, third highest in MLB -- only the Giants (6.56) and Mets (6.21) have been worse.
  4. Yuli Gurriel enters the second half on a five-game home run streak, tied with teammate Jose Altuve (April 8-13) for the longest streak in MLB this season. Only one Astros hitter has ever homered in six straight games -- Morgan Ensberg in April 2006.
  5. Since 2017, Joey Gallo has hit 11 home runs against Houston, tied with Oakland for his second most against any opponent in that span (Seattle, 13). Only Oakland's Khris Davis (12 HR) has hit more home runs against the Astros in that span.
  6. George Springer has 15 career home runs at Globe Life Park, his most at any visiting ballpark. His .931 OPS at the park ranks fourth among active players with at least 150 career plate appearances at Globe Life, behind only Mike Trout (1.081), Miguel Cabrera (1.071), and Nick Markakis (.972).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/11/2019 thru 7/14/2019
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Through a first half that featured a pair of double-digit win streaks plus a seven-game skid that shaved what was a 10-game division lead in half, the short-handed Astros kept chugging along.

And now, with 72 games remaining on their schedule plus a 7 1/2-game lead in the American League West, the Astros stand poised to claim their third consecutive division pennant.

Houston, which opens a four-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington on Thursday, has lost a combined 106 games from Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer to injuries. Correa and super utility man Aledmys Diaz remain on the 10-day injured list, but both are set to return sometime this month with the design of finally making the Astros whole again.

In the interim and starting against the Rangers, the Astros will keep pushing forward with another postseason berth and World Series championship in their sights and as their goals.

"Our perseverance through a lot of injuries that were unexpected is something that I've been very proud of," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "Our win total is good. In my seat, you always wish for more wins ... but I'm proud of our guys for staying focused and keeping the perspective on how long the season is and what everybody has to do to step up when some guys got hurt.

"This is a really good team. We played really well in the first half and look forward to whatever is next."

The Astros have not announced a starter for Thursday. Houston did option right-hander Jose Urquidy to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday after he posted a 10.50 ERA over two starts against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels. The Astros are scheduled to start right-hander Gerrit Cole, left-hander Wade Miley and right-hander Justin Verlander over the remainder of the four-game series.

Right-hander Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.91 ERA) will start Thursday for Texas. He is second on the Rangers to All-Star left-hander Mike Minor in bWAR (3.9) and is 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA over his last seven starts with 53 strikeouts against just four walks over 47 1/3 innings.

Lynn is 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA over eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Astros and suffered a 3-0 loss at Minute Maid Park on May 10 after allowing three runs on six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

The upstart Rangers slumped a bit down the stretch of the first half, losing six of seven games before pulling out a 4-1 win in 11 innings at Minnesota on July 7.

Expectations for the Rangers were muted entering the season, but instead of rebuilding, the Rangers have enjoyed a resurgence and will enter Thursday just three games behind Cleveland for the second wild card in the AL.

Texas' role as a contender could facilitate adding personnel at the trading deadline, a move that would not only bolster their postseason hopes but validate the style of play that put the Rangers in contention in the first place. Thus far, their unified, singular approach has paid dividends.

"We're working together as a team," Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor said. "We've been having the same approach."

--Field Level Media

Updated July 11, 2019

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