Astros Series Preview: The battle for the 2019 Silver Boot commences

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HOUSTON, TX - JULY 27: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers is forced out at second base by Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 27, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 27: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers is forced out at second base by Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 27, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Astros head to Arlington to take on the Rangers as the club tries to rid itself of a disappointing Opening Series.

For those that are into record standings on April 1st, the Rangers hold a 1.5 game lead over the Astros. And that is why you shouldn’t be into record standings early in a season when anything can change.

If you were looking for any added motivation against the Rangers, well, take a look at this tidbit from Richard Justice of MLB.com.

The Astros are licking their wounds following a tough series in Tampa where the Rays limited Houston to four runs over the last three games. Houston is hoping for a better set of outcomes in Arlington, especially from their lineup.

Here are the starters for each of the next three games, beginning with Monday evening’s tilt.

Peacock gets the nod for Monday’s game, which will be his first start since last August against the Mariners. Well, it was more akin to an opener situation as Peacock threw only 1 2/3 innings that day. Monday’s start will be more like his role in 2017 when he started 21 games for the club during the regular season. He will start opposite of Smyly, who is making his first appearance in the majors since the 2016 season.

For Game 2 of the series, Verlander draws the right-handed Miller, who is in his first season as a Ranger. Miller, who originally came up with the Cardinals, is looking to regain his past form following stints with the Braves and Diamondbacks in recent years. Verlander overcame a rough start to his first game of the season to hold the Rays to one run over seven innings back on Opening Day. Josh Reddick has six career at-bats against Miller, which is the most on the Astros, and currently has five hits to show.

Next. Wade Miley solid in Astros debut. dark

Cole gets the start for the series finale on Wednesday as the Rangers counter with the left-handed Minor. Minor, who is in his second season with Texas, is also the only notable carryover from last year’s Rangers rotation. Cole made three starts in Arlington last season, holding the Rangers to six runs over 18 innings. Yuli Gurriel is the hitter to watch against Minor as he currently has a 1.462 OPS against the left-hander in 13 plate appearances.

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