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Preview: Rangers (61-91) at Astros (67-86)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 4
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: August 31, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
  

The Houston Astros' Jose Altuve and Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre are both vying to win the AL batting title.

Those hitters probably won't be slowed down in Sunday's series finale based on the starting pitchers.

The Astros will give the ball to Dallas Keuchel and the Rangers counter with rookie Nick Martinez in Sunday's four-game series finale in Houston.

The Houston second baseman leads the majors with a .332 average, while Beltre is not far behind him at .325 in a race that includes Detroit's Victor Martinez and Seattle's Robinson Cano.

Altuve has hit safely in eight straight games, going 4 for 12 in this series. Beltre is 3 for 10 in the first three games.

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There's reason to believe both will maintain that level of production. Altuve is 2 for 4 this year against the inexperienced Martinez (3-10, 5.31 ERA) while Beltre is 7 for 22 over the last two years versus Keuchel.

Beltre is also a .349 hitter off left-handers as he gets ready to face Keuchel (10-9, 3.05), who is known best for his ability to induce ground balls.

The southpaw leads the majors in groundball percentage (63.5) and groundball-to-flyball ratio (3.46). He has induced 28 groundball double plays to tie Detroit's Rick Porcello for the big-league lead.

Keuchel is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in three starts against the Rangers this year, getting them to ground into six twin-killings.

He is 0-2 with a 3.34 ERA in five outings this month, allowing two runs in seven innings in Tuesday's 4-2 victory over Oakland.

Houston's ability to turn two may be hampered if shortstop Marwin Gonzalez misses a second straight game. He was scratched from Saturday's 2-0 victory with discomfort in his right hamstring, and Gregorio Petit started in his place.

"I think it's just a one-day thing," manager Bo Porter told MLB's official website. "It's just a little bit tight. He's been playing really well and we don't want to risk anything moving forward."

Gonzalez is 8 for 17 on this nine-game homestand.

Houston (58-79) has taken two of the first three games even though Chris Carter is 1 for 10. Carter leads the majors with 14 homers since the All-Star break.

The Astros clinched the season series and the Silver Boot between these state rivals Saturday, improving to 10-5 versus the Rangers.

Texas (53-82) had not lost the season series since 2006 and is assured its first losing season since 2008. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in the first six games of this 10-game trip.

Martinez is the first Texas right-handed rookie to reach double figures in defeats since Jose Guzman and Edwin Correa in 1986.

He won his lone start against the Astros exactly three weeks ago by allowing two runs over five innings in a 6-2 road victory. Keuchel was charged with five runs in six innings.

The Rangers have won six straight day games, including that contest.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Rangers at Astros
Thu, Aug 28 Final 2 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Rangers at Astros
Fri, Aug 29 Final 13 to 6
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Rangers at Astros
Sat, Aug 30 Final 0 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 4
Rangers at Astros
Sun, Aug 31 Final 2 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TEX  +140   -150   8.5 
 HOU  -155   +130   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TEX  +144   -145   8.5 
 HOU  -159   +125   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TEX  28%   14%   83% 
 HOU  72%   86%   17% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Aug 30, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 0 Under: 2 
 HOU 2 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 29, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 13 Cover: +115 
 HOU 6 Over: 19 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 28, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 3 Under: 7 
 HOU 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 10, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 6 Cover: +135 
 HOU 2 Under: 8 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 9, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 3 Over: 11 
 HOU 8 Cover: +160 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 8, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 3 Under: 7 
 HOU 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 9, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 8 Cover: +195 
 TEX 4 Over: 12 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 8, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 8 Cover: +135 
 TEX 3 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 7, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 12 Cover: +135 
 TEX 7 Over: 19 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 14, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 4 Over: 9 
 HOU 5 Cover: +103 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Sunday, Aug 31
 
    Yankees at Blue Jays
1:05 PM EDT
    Phillies at Mets
1:10 PM EDT
    Twins at Orioles
1:35 PM EDT
    Reds at Pirates
1:35 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Rays
1:40 PM EDT
    Tigers at White Sox
2:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Astros
2:10 PM EDT
    Cubs at Cardinals
2:15 PM EDT
    Athletics at Angels
3:35 PM EDT
    Brewers at Giants
4:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Mariners
4:10 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Padres
4:10 PM EDT
    Rockies at Diamondbacks
4:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Braves
5:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Royals
8:05 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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