Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Dallas Keuchel
Darvish (8-3, 2.78 ERA): Darvish ended a seven-game winless streak, pitching 6⅔ scoreless innings as the Rangers beat the Cincinnati Reds He is tied for ninth in the American League in wins Darvish leads the major leagues with 151 strikeouts and 11.99 strikeouts per nine innings Darvish already has the highest strikeout total prior to the All-Star break since the Chicago Cubs' Kerry Wood had 156 K's His .190 batting average against is the second lowest in the majors behind the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (.189) Darvish is 15-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 24 career starts at Rangers Ballpark He is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 33 strikeouts in three career starts against the Houston Astros Darvish fell one out short of a perfect game against Houston on April 2.
Keuchel (4-5, 4.66 ERA): Keuchel lost his last start, giving up five runs on 4⅔ innings in a 12-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays The 25-year-old left-hander allowed eight hits and five walks He opened the season pitching out of the Astros bullpen Keuchel had made nine straight starts before a relief appearance on June 25 The Astros are 5-5 in his starts Keuchel has been able to pitch deep into games, going six-plus innings seven straight times before the Tampa Bay debacle He is sixth in the American League with a 2.06 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio He has three career starts against the Rangers, in which he is 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA.
Hitters: Matt Dominguez is 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs against Darvish. Nelson Cruz is 2-for-6 with a home run off Keuchel.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.