MLB

5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 590
Texas0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 370
3
  W: D. Keuchel (5-8)   L: A. Bibens-Dirkx (1-2)   S: H. Rondón (6)
5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, July 3, 2018
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas  Attendance: 40,165

Rangers are the hotter team as they host Astros in a two-game series

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

  1. The Astros dropped their last three games against the Rays after winning their first game of the series in Tampa Bay. This is Houston's fourth three-game losing streak of the season. The Astros are one of four teams (Braves, Red Sox, and Yankees) who have yet to lose four in a row in 2018.
  2. The Rangers won two of three against the White Sox and have gone 11-3 in their last 14 games. Since June 16, Texas leads MLB with 6.50 runs per game as well as leading the AL in batting average (.285) and on-base percentage (.372).
  3. Houston has won six straight against Texas and are 10-4 against the Rangers overall this season. With a sweep, the Astros would tie their 2017 record of most wins against the Rangers in a single season.
  4. Dallas Keuchel is 9-9 in 25 starts against the Rangers, accumulating 148 strikeouts, which ranks fourth among active pitchers. In Keuchel's most recent start against Texas he allowed five earned runs and 13 hits in 4.1 innings.
  5. Austin Biben-Dirkx will make his fifth start this season and third since spending the beginning of June in the minors. Since returning to the majors, Biben-Dirkx has allowed one run and seven hits in 11.2 innings compared to eight earned runs and 17 hits in 10.3 innings in his first two outings of the season.
  6. In Houston's last seven games Alex Bregman recorded 10 extra-base hits, 10 RBI and seven runs. He is the fifth Astro with such a span and the first since Morgan Ensberg recorded 10 extra-base hits, 13 RBI and 10 runs in a seven-game span in 2006.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/3/2018 thru 7/4/2018

If the Houston Astros are heading into a two-game series against rival Texas with the idea that they'll be able to push around the rebuilding Rangers and get back on track after three straight losses, maybe it's time to think again.

The Astros will send struggling left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 4.22 ERA) to the mound in the first game of the series on Tuesday at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas will counter with right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-1, 3.57).

Houston lost three straight games in Tampa Bay last weekend, including a 3-2 setback on Sunday, and dropped its first series since May 28-30 at Yankee Stadium.

The Astros were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and 0-for-14 in the series. Houston managed just seven runs in the four-game series -- all on homers, including two solo shots Sunday by Evan Gattis.

It was the Astros' fewest runs in a four-game series on the road since they scored five at Tropicana Field against the Rays in 2014.

"We didn't do enough to win the game or the series," Astros manager AJ Hinch told mlb.com. "We made some mental errors, we had some big moments that they executed some pitches. One-run games, a couple of losses this series, are tough to swallow. We'll take it to the next city, but this one sucks."

The Rangers, meanwhile, have been as hot as the triple-digit temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Texas is 12-6 since the Astros swept a four-game series from them in Arlington on June 7-10 and have won a season-best five straight series, including taking two of three games last weekend at home against the White Sox.

Texas ended that series with a 10-5 loss on Sunday in which ace starter Cole Hamels struggled, allowing a season-high seven earned runs and nine hits, which matched his high for the year.

Hamels, who has been the constant subject of trade talks for the past month, said afterward that he was blocking out that talk and it had no effect on his performance.

"It's not a big deal. It's out of my control," Hamels said. "I have to go and pitch, and hopefully that'll be the last time I have to answer that question."

Keuchel took a no-decision in his last start on June 27 against Toronto, allowing six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of the Astros' 7-6 comeback victory. He surrendered five runs in the first inning before settling in to pitch five scoreless innings.

Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner and a 2-time All-Star (2015, 2017), will make his 18th start of the season and third against the Rangers this year. He is 9-9 with a 4.03 ERA in 25 career games, all starts, against Texas and is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 17 1/3 innings versus the Rangers in 2018.

Keuchel has not been as successful this season as over the past four seasons but he's still inducing a high ground ball rate and soft contact. He leads the AL in groundball to fly-ball ratio (2.64), while ranking third in soft contact percentage (23.1 percent).

Bibens-Dirkx will make his fifth start of the season and his first start against the Astros. He's coming off a no-decision against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, when he allowed two hits and struck out six in five scoreless innings in a game that San Diego won 3-2. Bibens-Dirkx is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA at home this season.

Bibens-Dirkx was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock before his June 20 start against Kansas City for his second stint with Texas in 2018. He will be working on regular four days' rest; the Rangers are 2-2 in his four starts this season.

Updated July 2, 2018