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Preview: Astros (40-55) at Rangers (38-56)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: August 19, 2013 8:05 PM EDT
  

Despite a string of sub-.500 opponents, the Texas Rangers have cooled off from a torrid stretch that culminated with a sweep of the Houston Astros.

The Rangers will try to get rolling again and protect their slim lead atop the AL West during another series against the Astros that begins Monday night.

Texas (71-53) is in the middle of a stretch of 24 consecutive games against teams with losing records but dropped to 2-3 on its current homestand with a 4-3 defeat to Seattle on Sunday. After his club rallied from three one-run deficits, Joe Nathan gave up the go-ahead double in the ninth.

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The loss and Oakland's victory over Cleveland cut the Rangers' edge in the division to one-half game.

"I'm not going to sit here and second guess," Nathan told the team's website.

Texas will try to conclude its eight-game stay in Arlington on a more positive note by adding to its recent dominance of the last-place Astros (41-82). The Rangers have won 15 of 17 matchups dating back to last season and five of the last six at home.

Houston, though, heads into this series having won of four of six since being swept in four games by Texas at Minute Maid Park from Aug. 9-12. The Astros took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, and Matt Dominguez provided a tiebreaking three-run homer during his four-hit performance in Sunday's 7-5 victory.

"At some point, we're going to start to get our breaks," manager Bo Porter said. "We're swinging the bats real well, and we're getting good starting pitching."

The Astros were slated to start Jordan Lyles in this game, but he made a surprise relief appearance in Sunday's win. Houston is expected to turn to Lucas Harrell (6-13, 5.16 ERA) in this game.

The major league's co-leader in losses has made one start since a miserable outing in Texas on July 5. He gave up a season-high nine runs over 3 2-3 innings in a 10-5 loss and is 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in two career starts in Arlington.

Harrell is 1-3 with a 6.10 ERA in four overall starts against the Rangers.

Matt Garza (2-1, 3.86), meanwhile, will try for a better performance after going 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA in his three starts this month. That includes a 9-5 win over the Astros on Aug. 9.

Garza gave up four runs over seven innings in that game, struck out eight and got seven runs of support. He's received two runs or fewer in his four other outings since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 22.

"He can give up four runs and we'll still win," manager Ron Washington told the team's website about Garza. "He just keeps us in ballgames."

Garza is having his start bumped up one day after Alexi Ogando developed inflammation in a nerve in his right shoulder. Garza has won three straight decisions against the Astros, also limiting them to a solo homer and three other hits in eight innings of a 3-1 win June 21 for the Cubs.

Adrian Beltre, batting .437 in his last 19 games, hit a two-run homer off Harrell in the win in July. Beltre is hitting .455 with five doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs in his last 11 matchups with the Astros.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Astros at Rangers
Mon, Aug 19 Final 5 to 16
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Astros at Rangers
Tue, Aug 20 Final 2 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Astros at Rangers
Wed, Aug 21 Final 4 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 HOU  +250   +125   9 
 TEX  -300   -145   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 HOU  +255   +130   9 
 TEX  -310   -150   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 HOU  33%   12%   62% 
 TEX  67%   88%   38% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Aug 12, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 0 Under: 0 
 HOU 0 Cover: +210 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 6 Cover: +100 
 HOU 1 Under: 7 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 5 Cover: +100 
 HOU 4 Over: 9 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 0 Under: 0 
 HOU 0 Cover: +170 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 7, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 4 Under: 9 
 TEX 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 6, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 9 Cover: +270 
 TEX 5 Over: 14 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 5, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 5 Over: 15 
 TEX 10 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 12, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 12 Cover: +100 
 HOU 7 Over: 19 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 8 Cover: +100 
 HOU 7 Over: 15 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 4 Cover: +100 
 HOU 2 Under: 6 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Monday, Aug 19
 
    Mets at Twins
2:10 PM EDT
    Rays at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    Rockies at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Marlins
7:10 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Reds
7:10 PM EDT
    Astros at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Cubs
8:05 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
    Mariners at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Pirates at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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