Lance Lynn matched his season high for strikeouts, and the Texas Rangers opened the second half with a 5-0 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Houston may have to go to the bullpen early. The Astros are scheduled to start right-hander Gerrit Cole, left-hander Wade Miley and right-hander Justin Verlander over the remainder of the four-game series.
Lynn lost his only start against the Houston Astros but is 4-2 with a 2.20 career ERA versus Houston. The hard-throwing righty is on pace for over 200 strikeouts and averages 4.73 strikeouts per walk (eighth in the American League).
The two-time All-Star entered the game with a.927 OPS and 23 home runs for the AL West-leading Astros. The Texas Rangers have won six of their last nine games when scoring four or more runs. Correa and super utility man Aledmys Diaz remain on the 10-day injured list, but both are set to return sometime this month with the design of finally making the Astros whole again. Rangers DH Hunter Pence injured then re-injured his groin which will keep him out at least 2-3 more weeks.
TOP PERFORMERS: Elvis Andrus leads the Rangers with 99 hits and has 45 RBIs.
The Astros are 26-8 against the rest of their division. They closed out strong, though, winning back to back games and their last 10.
Two starts might be all they need to fill because of two late July off-days, presuming they do indeed acquire a starter before the deadline.
Over/under: Take the OVER on 11.5 (+100) with both teams tending to allow runs late due to their bullpens.
When you have a season that is 162 games long, it is impossible for any team to make it through the whole thing without experiencing some dips in form and/or injury issues.