On Monday in Houston, the second match from the 2023 AL Championship Series features the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. Texas won the opening game of the series 2-0 on Sunday. The Rangers concluded their regular-season campaign tied atop the AL West crown with Houston but lost the tiebreaker, earning a wild card slot instead. The Astros are playing in their sixth consecutive ALCS after winning the AL West for the 3rd year in a row.
The Rangers know they will have home-field advantage regardless of the outcome in this match, but they shouldn’t find themselves satisfied with that. In the opening game, the pitching was excellent, allowing just 5 hits and no runs. Leody Tavares hit a monster home run, which was a major factor in the Rangers’ ability to claim victory. Jordan Montgomery got off to a strong start, throwing 6.1 innings while allowing just 5 hits and no runs. He also struck out on 6 occasions.
The Astros started Justin Verlander on the mound, but they are still behind the series 1-0. The Astros did manage 5 hits, but the difference came from their inability to string any of them together. No Astros player had more than a single hit, and that will need to alter significantly in this game.
The Rangers must be pleased that Nathan Eovaldi will start Game 2. After having a difficult final stretch of the regular season after coming from the IL, Eovaldi has excelled in the postseason. In 2 playoff starts, he has a 2-0 record and a 1.32 ERA. With a 9.9 K/9 rate, a commanding WHIP of 0.80 in 13.2 innings pitched, he has only given up 11 hits.
Game 2 versus the Rangers will feature experienced lefty Framber Valdez for the Astros. Valdez is 0-1 in the playoffs after capturing 12 matches in 23 decisions this year. The Twins brutalized Valdez in the Astros’ lone postseason defeat going into this series. In 4.1 innings of play, he gave up 7 hits, 5 runs, and had an earned run average of 10.38. In a poor performance, Valdez walked 3 while striking out 5.
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Texas Rangers vs Houston Astros Game Information
- Date: 10/16/2023
- Time: 04:37 PM ET
- Location: Minute Maid Park.
- How to Watch Rangers vs Astros: MLB.TV
- Live Stream: MLB.TV