Houston (77-67) at Texas (76-67)
When: Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Where: Globe Life Park, Arlington, TX
Time: 8:05 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 179
The battle for the American League West continues tonight after last night’s exciting 5-3 Texas win. Prince Fielder’s 2-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning broke a 3-3 tie and now the Rangers are only a half a game behind Houston for the division lead. Texas has now won 9 of 13 games against Houston this year and still have 3 more this week and six more in the next 13 days. Mitch Moreland hit his 20th home run of the year in the 6th inning off of Scott Kazmir to make it 3-2 Rangers. Cole Hamels pitched 7 strong innings and the bullpen did the rest. Shawn Tolleson picked up his 32nd save. The Rangers will throw another left-hander tonight in Derek Holland who is 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 6 starts this year. He was hit hard in Seattle last week, but pitched super in his previous two outings allowing only 1 run in 17 innings. Holland actually started a game against Houston in April, but left after the 1st inning and would not pitch again until August. He was scheduled to pitch Wednesday, but he and Martin Perez will switch days.
Houston’s reign in the A.L. West this year is one game away from coming to a temporary end. The Astros are now 2-5 on their current road trip and are now a dreadful 29-43 away from home. Houston continues to rely too much on the long ball and not picking up the key hits. They left 18 men on base last night. If the Astros aren’t careful, they could find themselves completely out of the playoffs with the Twins only a game out of the final Wild Card spot. Collin McHugh will be asked to keep the Astros in first place tonight. He is 16-7 on the year and has won 3 straight games. He’s at 178 innings this year, which is his most ever. He was hit hard last week in Oakland and could be showing signs of tiring. Against Texas this year he’s only allowed 2 runs in 12 innings, both wins.
The game is off the board due to the pitching change, but I don’t care what it is, I’m still taking the Rangers. I’m also thinking about taking them on the runline as the Rangers have Houston’s number this year and can smell first place. Check back later in the morning for our prediction.
Pick: Rangers -115