Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Preview and Predictions 07-14-2019
The 2019 season has not been kind to three-time batting champion Jose Altuve, but he has dropped hints over the last two-plus weeks that he might be poised to go on a tear in the near future. Coming off his second four-hit effort of the month, the 2017 American League MVP hopes to lead the Houston Astros to a series split when they visit the Texas Rangers on Sunday for the finale of their four-game set.
Altuve, who spent over a month from mid-May to mid-June on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, entered Saturday's contest batting .256 - 58 points below his career average - but registered a three-hit effort on June 30 and a four-hit performance two days later. The six-time All-Star had managed only four hits in 26 at-bats since that spurt but finished 4-for-6 with a go-ahead RBI double in the 11th inning of Saturday's 7-6 victory. After rallying from a four-run deficit in the seventh inning on Friday to record a 9-8 victory, Texas had another comeback attempt in the 11th on Saturday snuffed out when Tim Federowicz flied out with the tying run in scoring position. Delino DeShields homered and drove in two runs for the Rangers, who had won their previous four home games against the Astros.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Southwest (Houston), FS Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Ariel Jurado (5-4, 4.23)
Verlander's bizarre season continued in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 5 as he surrendered four runs - including three homers - while registering six strikeouts over seven innings. The eight-time All-Star leads the majors in WHIP (0.81) and ranks fifth in strikeouts (153), but he also has allowed the most home runs of any pitcher in baseball (26). Verlander hasn't had much trouble in three starts against Texas this season, however, going 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA while permitting two homers in 18 frames.
Jurado finished the first half on a positive note with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief at Minnesota last Sunday, but he hasn't been particularly sharp of late - outside of a seven-inning masterpiece in Detroit to end June. The 23-year-old struggled at home against the Angels on July 3, yielding six runs over as many frames to lift his ERA to 6.95 over his last four turns. Jurado beat the Astros in his only career start against them last July, holding the club to one run on two hits and a walk in six frames.
1. The Rangers have belted eight homers over the last two contests after totaling 10 in their previous 10 games.
2. Houston is 8-1 in extra innings this season after going 5-6 in such contests last year.
3. Texas has scored at least once in the opening frame of each game of this series and leads the majors with 75 first-inning runs.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- BATTING 0.325 Yordan Alvarez #44 | LF
- HOMERUNS 40 Alex Bregman #2 | 3B
- RUNS BATTED IN 110 Alex Bregman #2 | 3B
- STOLEN BASES 10 Jake Marisnick #6 | CF
- EARNED RUN AVERAGE 21.600 Tyler White #13 | 1B
- WINS 20 Justin Verlander #35 | SP
- STRIKEOUTS 122 Robinson Chirinos #28 | C
- SAVES 37 Roberto Osuna #54 | RP
- RestQues Mon | questionable
Cabrera is not expected to take part in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Dodgers as he is to be rested.
- RestQues Fri | questionable
Cabrera is expected to receive a rest day for Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.
- RestQues Sun | questionable
Reddick is not expected to suit up against the Yankees in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series as he is to be rested.
- Elbowout for season | 10-day IL
McHugh is on the 10-day injured list due to right elbow discomfort and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
- Shoulderout for season | 10-day IL
Sanchez has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to season-ending right shoulder surgery.
- BackProb Fri | probable
Correa is sidelined due to tightness in his lower back, but he is expected to return to action for Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Rays.
texas-rangers Stats 2019
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