Houston (71-62) at Texas (80-54)
When: Friday, September 2nd 2016
Where: Globe Life Park, Arlington, TX
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ROOT Houston, FSN Southwest
A couple of hot teams from the state of Texas will start a three-game weekend series Friday night when the Rangers host the Houston Astros. The Rangers have won five in a row and seven of eight and are mashing the ball in the process. In their last seven victories, Texas has scored six or more runs in all but on of those contests. They’re coming off a 14-1 route of Seattle in which newly-acquired Carlos Gomez highlighted things with a grand slam. The former Astros was released a few weeks ago and started off 1-for-19 as a Ranger before going 3-for-6 in his last two. The Astros have won 10 of their last 12, but still find themselves 8.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West. Houston has climbed to within one game of Baltimore and Detroit for the second AL Wild Card. Houston DH-C Evan Gattis is 7-for-19 with three homers, seven RBIs and four runs scored in his last six games. Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre has four homers, 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored in his last eight.
Pitchers: Astros – Doug Fister (12-9, 3.60 ERA) | Rangers – A.J. Griffin (6-3, 4.39)
Doug Fister has sandwiched two horrible outings with a great one at Pittsburgh and has been much better on the road this season. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of a 10-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Fister received a no-decision on August 6th against Texas after allowing one run in six innings of work. He is 9-3 with a 3.07 ERA while limiting the opposition to bat .241 against him away from home.
A.J. Griffin broke a three-star winless streak on Saturday by tossing six scoreless innings in a win over Cleveland. Griffin looks to improve on his 4-0 career mark against Texas. He picked up the victory against them on April 21st after striking out six over six innings. Colby Rasmus hit one of his two homers in that contest off Griffin, but is 1-for-9 with four strikeouts versus him.
Texas has owned the Astros over the last couple of seasons and have won 11 of 13 meetings this year. Texas’ offense is just too good right now to go against. I’ll take the home team here.
Pick: Rangers -118