Houston Astros (31-55) at Texas Rangers (49-36)
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
The Houston Astros continue to spiral downward, dropping eight of their last ten games. They dropped three of four to the Tampa Bay Rays, being outscored 28-9 for the series. Prior to Wednesday’s win, the Astros had lost five straight games and only managed five total runs during that span. The last time they faced the Rangers, Houston was swept in a three game set.
The Texas Rangers had won four straight series before dropping two of three to the Seattle Mariners. The Rangers pitching staff currently ranks second in the MLB with a 13.7 WAR. They have a team ERA of 3.68, which is good enough for second in the American League. The Rangers are 5-1 against the Astros this season.
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Lucas Harrell gave up one or fewer earned runs in four of his six June starts. He ended the month 1-2 with a 3.22 ERA. In his only other other start versus the Rangers this year, Harrell threw six innings and allowed just one run back on April 2nd. Walks have continued to haunt Lucas this season. His walk percentage is up to 10.4% this year, compared to 9.4% in 2012.
In Nick Tepesch’s last five starts, he has been unable to hold opponents to fewer than four runs just once. He’s also been unable to finish the sixth inning in any of those starts. In his last appearance, Tepesch threw four innings and allowed four runs to the Cincinnati Reds in a no-decision.
After a streak of five solid starts, Dallas Keuchel faltered in his last appearance on Monday. He allowed five runs on eight hits in just 4.2 innings against the Rays. Keuchel walked five Rays in that outing, which is the same amount that he walked during the entire month of June. Dallas threw six innings and allowed just two runs to the Rangers on May 10th.
In Yu Darvish’s last start, he picked up his first win since May 16th. He threw 6.2 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and walking four Reds. Darvish finished the month of June 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA. In Yu’s last outing against the Astros, he allowed two homeruns to Astros’ third sacker Matt Dominguez.
On Tuesday, Erik Bedard allowed four or more earned runs in an outing for the second time since May 1st. Like several of the other Astros’ starters, Bedard had some control issues in his last start, allowing six free passes to the Rays. In his last start versus the Rangers, Erik threw five innings and allowed two runs on four hits.
The last time Justin Grimm allowed fewer than three earned runs in a start was back on May 30th. He was shelled in his last outing, allowing six runs on three homeruns in just four innings of work. Lefties are slugging .518 with eight homers against the young right-hander.