MLB PREVIEWS |

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros Preview and Predictions 09-17-2020

Smart Sports Betting Made easy.
Sharp Picks Powered By Artificial Intelligence
10 Day Free Trial

The Houston Astros will host the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of a three-game series Thursday.

Left-hander Framber Valdez (3-3, 4.08 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Astros (24-25). After going 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA over a four-start stretch, Valdez has scuffled of late, allowing 13 earned runs over his last 12 innings with opponents posting a .976 OPS.

This will mark his second appearance this season against Texas, with Valdez limiting the Rangers to three runs with eight strikeouts over seven innings in a 6-5 loss on Sept. 1. Valdez did not factor in that decision and is 0-2 with a 6.92 ERA over five appearances (two starts) in his career against Texas.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-4, 7.80 ERA) will start the series finale for the Rangers (18-31). Lyles has followed openers in two of his previous three appearances, going 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA with a .717 OPS allowed during that stretch. His ERA would be the highest in the majors if he qualified.

Lyles is coming off the longest relief outing by a Texas pitcher in 12 seasons after surrendering five runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts over seven innings last Friday in a 10-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Lyles is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA over three appearances, including one start, against the Astros, for whom he pitched from 2011-13.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward will continue the delicate balance of striving to win games while also giving opportunities to rookies who could have promising futures. Texas had five rookies in the lineup in the series opener with three position players -- center fielder Leody Taveras, shortstop Anderson Tejada and left fielder Nick Solak -- starting again on Wednesday.

"We're still trying to obviously win games," Woodward said. "I'm trying to put it to where we have the best chance. With that being said I'm trying to obviously get these guys at-bats. I'm trying to figure out how to get as many at-bats with these guys while giving the guys that I want to see more. Some of these guys are playing every day like Taveras and Tejeda, for the most part."

Astros right-hander Justin Verlander faced live hitters Wednesday for the first time since he landed on the injured list with a right forearm strain on July 25 following his lone start of 2020.

Verlander threw 75 pitches, including 50 in the bullpen as part of his normal warm-up routine, while logging two innings on the mound. The Astros will re-evaluate Verlander on Friday at the earliest to determine his level of soreness and discomfort before making an assessment on his immediate future. Initial published reports had Verlander sidelined for the remainder of the year.

Alongside right-handers Jose Urquidy and Lance McCullers Jr., who logged seven shutout innings in his return from the injured list in the Astros' 1-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, a potential return of Verlander could be a boon to their postseason hopes and might set their American League Wild Card Series rotation.

"Slowly but surely I hope we don't run out of time to get these guys back and in tip-top shape," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "But I'd rather have them back at the last minute than I would with no time. It's big. It's big for the confidence of this club. Then you could put other guys in an area where they can help us, especially in the bullpen. That'd be great to get these guys back."

--Field Level Media

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Warning

Message: Invalid argument supplied for foreach()

Filename: previews/preview_box_prediction.php

Line Number: 22

Need more winners Against the Spread? Get $60 in Free Premium Member Only picks from Doc’s Sports – A recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971. Click Here.

News Breaking News

News Recaps

Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Minute Maid Park
Houston, Texas, USA.
Capacity: 43,836

Buy Tickets

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

BUY from USD 0.00

Average: USD 0.00 Highest: USD 0.00 BUY from USD 0.00

Last Injuries

Houston Astros

  • Josh James

    Undisclosed
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    James has popped up on the 10-day injured list for undisclosed reasons, and there is no timetable for a return.

  • Martin Maldonado

    Leg
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Maldonado is nursing a leg injury, and it is unknown if he will play in the American League wild-card round against the Twins.

  • George Springer

    Rest
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Springer is not expected to play Saturday against the Rangers due to a day of rest.

  • Carlos Correa

    Rest
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Correa will receive the night off as the team has elected to give him a breather.

  • Michael Brantley

    Rest
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Brantley is unlikely to take part in Saturday's matchup with the Rangers as he is to be rested.

  • Rogelio Armenteros

    Elbow
    Early Oct | 45-day IL

    Armenteros has wound up on the 45-day injured list after having a bone spur removed from his right elbow, and he is expected to be debilitated until the early stage of October.

  • Justin Verlander

    Elbow
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Verlander has hit the 10-day injured list and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

  • Aledmys Diaz

    Quadricep
    Out indefinitely | out

    Diaz has been sidelined due to a quad injury, and it is unclear when he will return to the lineup.

Texas Rangers

  • Shin-Soo Choo

    Ankle
    day-to-day | out

    Choo departed Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

  • Sherten Apostel

    Back
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Apostel will finish the season on the 10-day injured list due to back spasms.

  • Yadiel Rivera

    Elbow
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Rivera has been shifted to the 10-day injured list after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow. He has been shut down for the remainder of the season.

  • Anderson Tejeda

    Infection
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Tejeda has been held out of the previous two games due to a skin infection in his right arm. It is undetermined if he will play against the Astros on Saturday.

  • Leody Taveras

    Back
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Taveras missed the last game with a back injury, and it is unclear if he will dress for Saturday's contest against the Astros.

  • Todd Frazier

    Rest
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Frazier is not expected to be in Friday's starting lineup versus the Nationals as he will be rested.

  • Ronald Guzman

    Hamstring
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Guzman has sat out the last three games due to tightness in his right hamstring, but it is likely that he will return Thursday against the Astros.

  • Shin-Soo Choo

    Hand
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Choo has been assigned to the 10-day injured list with a sprained right hand. He is expected to miss the remainder of the 2020 season.

houston-astros Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB

texas-rangers Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB