Series Preview: Astros vs. Rangers

The Astros are 7-1 against the Rangers this season, their best start ever in the Lone Star Series. But with a depleted rotation and tired bullpen, the Astros must overcome adversity to maintain control over their in-state rivals.

After being swept by the Astros 10 days ago, the Rangers enter phase three of this year's Lone Star Series winners of four of their last five, including a three game sweep over the Nationals this weekend.

The Astros, on the other hand, are coming off their first losing week of the season (3-4), the result of a barrage of pitching injuries that has left the starting rotation in shambles.

Can the Astros overcome the adversity? Or will the Rangers finally gain traction? Let's take a look at the matchups.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Yu Darvish (5-4, 3.18) v. Joe Musgrove (4-4, 4.89)

Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh and Charlie Morton are all on the disabled list. That makes Joe Musgrove the team's ace.

Musgrove will make his first start tonight since returning from the DL with right shoulder soreness. He had a career start in his last outing, tossing seven shutout innings against the Orioles on May 26th.

Yu Darvish has been his usual self, posting a 3.18 ERA and .205 opposing batting average so far this season. His main issues have come with the long ball, as he's allowed 7 home runs in his last 6 starts.

Darvish struggled in his last outing against the 'Stros, allowing three runs on seven hits in just five innings.

Game 2: TBA v. Brad Peacock (3-1, 3.15)

After a sensational start in the bullpen this season Brad Peacock has struggled, posting a 6.59 ERA in his last three starts. He was particularly bad in his last outing, allowing 4 ER in just 3 innings of work against the Angels. He will be working on four days rest, which does not bode well for his already sub-par stamina. 

The Rangers have yet to announce their starter. Many speculated it would be Tyson Ross, but he will start Friday's game against Seattle.

Game 3: Andrew Cashner (3-5, 2.17) v. Brad Peacock (3-1, 3.15)

Cashner has been solid this season but has struggled against the Astros, going 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA. He allowed 5 ER on 11 hits in his last start against the most hits he has allowed all season.

With Lance McCullers going on the 10-day DL today, Francis Martes has officially joined the Astros rotation and will start Wednesday night's game. The young righthander struggled in his major league debut, allowing 4 earned runs in 3.2 innings. 

Ranger Offense:

Whose Hot:

Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre has been a force since returning from the DL late last month, hitting .333 with 6 RBI in nine starts. 

Delino DeShields

Former Astro's first rounder Delino DeShields Jr. is off to a great June, hitting .409/.417/.500 with five stolen bases so far this month.

Whose Not:

Rougned Odor

Odor hasn't improved much since my last Rangers preview, as his batting average actually dropped a tick from .207 to .206. He remains last among Ranger starters in multi-hit games (8), OBP (.247) and OPS (.606).

Joey Gallo

Gallo is well known for having 17 home runs this year, but his .160/.222/.360 slash line in June have made his AB's decreasingly justifiable. He has only one home run with 14 strikeouts in his last 9 games.

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