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In the Lone Star State Battle, Will Texas Rangers Avenge Mighty Houston Astros’ Final-Second Division Steal?

Published 10/14/2023, 6:30 PM EDT

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With the Philadelphia Phillies winning the NLDS, all the match-ups for the league championship series are now confirmed. The Phils will meet the Arizona Diamondbacks for the crown in the National League. Whereas the two rivals from Lone Star State, the Texas Rangers, and the Houston Astros, will fight for it in the American League. Although both series are expected to be interesting, the eyes will be on Texas and Houston, given the battle of the sole championship of their historic state.

A reason is their first meet in the MLB playoffs, with an enormous opportunity to claim the top spot in the league. Especially for the Rangers after losing the division title, even after dominating their arch-rivals the entire season. But, it won’t be easy to take, all because of the glorious recent past of the Astros, which puts them in a league of their own. However, the Rangers are not just pushovers, having swept the playoffs to commend their way to the big stage. But will it be enough for them to rewrite the history?

The Silver Boot Series in the Playoffs for the First Time, Ever

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It was a season to remember for the Texas Rangers. After six years, they could finally match their rivals, Houston Astros, from shoulder to shoulder. They even dominated them before succumbing to the inconsistencies, which took away the division crown but almost the playoffs spot. However, all that is in the past now. The Rangers have made it to the league championship series to be placed against the same Astros, creating a history.

Notably, it would be the first time that the Silver Boot Series or Lone Star Series would shape up as a playoff series. Though the two teams have met each other in 266 meetings, not a single time has been a postseason game. Thus, the moment is humongous, and the Rangers. who lead the all-time series with a score of 134-132, are looking to add more to it.

Moreover, the analysis of the entire season adds to this. Although the Astros made it to the postseason as the division champions, things did not go smoothly for the 2022 champions. Throughout most of the season, they held the second position, only to secure victory during a critical juncture. Thus, they cannot take the Rangers lightly. But will it be enough for the Lone Stars to defeat the mighty Astros and represent the American League at the World Series?

Who Will Come Out Supreme as the Texas Rangers Face the Houston Astros?

At the start of the season, no one thought that the Texas Rangers would meet the Houston Astros in the postseason. However, everything underwent a transformation as time elapsed, and now, mere days separate them from reuniting for the League Champions battle. Given that Houston dominated Texas with 9 wins in the league stage to win the division, they would back themselves for a redo. But should they be a little cautious in their approach?

Surely, the Astros are a different team in the playoffs. Two titles in the last six years are a perfect example. Also, their seventh consistent postseason appearance adds more to their advantage. This makes them comfortable going into the challenge from Texas. But will the motivated Rangers allow this to happen?

The playoffs and the league stage are two different things. Results from the National League playoffs, with two teams with over 100 wins losing to a wild card team back this claim. Moreover, Texas has shown it with a sweep over top teams in playoffs. It makes them a perfect competitor to the Astros, and the latter should interpret it in a similar manner.

Notably, the Lone Stars have won their last five games by doing a sweep twice with support from both offense and defense. They have scored 29 RBIs, 29 Runs, and 7 Runs at an average of 0.282 while batting. They have recorded 41 strikeouts at an ERA of 2.20. All these factors have seen positive growth, which shows the improvement they have made as a team. But are these better than the Astros?

Given the challenge of a big stage, even the minor factors get all the acknowledgment. Although the Astros lost a game in the postseason, it did not impact them much. They have rained 10 HRs, 20 runs, and 20 RBIs at an average of 0.261. They have looked comfortable while pitching, with 52 strikeouts at an ERA of 3.25. However, compared to their league-stage performance, there is a slight dip and can be threatening. But will the Rangers be able to benefit from it?

For the ALCS to result in a seven-game series, it would necessitate a consistent performance throughout in order to secure a series victory. And for that, getting a great start will be the priority. Both the teams will look to do the same, but the Astros seem to have a slight advantage.

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Both teams have notified their starting pitchers for the first game. Justin Verlander will start for the Astros, while Jordan Montgomery will be on the mound for the Rangers. Although both players have done well, Verlander is in dominant form. He took six strikeouts at an ERA of 0.00 in the last game with. In comparison, Montgomery has an ERA of 3.25 with seven strikeouts.

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Moreover, Yordan Alvarez of the Astros is in prime form. In this postseason, he is averaging 0.438. With an OPS of 1.783, Alvarez has scored 4 HRs. Though he has struggled against Montgomery, the team is expecting him to do better this time. Thus, the Astros could make the most of it for a great start, which can make it a tough catch for the Rangers. The more balanced offense and the defense make it worse. With all the experience of the past, the Stars could use it to their advantage for another world series.

Watch this story – Every MLB Team That Has Never Won the World Series

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Written by:

Saurabh Saini

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Even after having an engineering background, nothing stopped Saurabh Saini from following his passion and writing about sports. With a sound knowledge of American sports, Saurabh specializes in baseball. Before joining EssentiallySports, Saurabh has written around 800 articles spanning MLB, NFL, and NHL.
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