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W2W4: Rangers at Houston Astros

8/8/2014

HOUSTON -- The battle of the Silver Boot is this weekend.

It really should be renamed: The Battle for Dazmon Cameron. He’s the projected No. 1 pick in next year’s MLB draft.

Here’s a preview between the two of the worst teams in the American League:

What’s up with the Astros? The Astros have lost three in a row but have beaten the Rangers in six of nine games this season. 2B Jose Altuve is batting .338/.375/.440. DH Chris Carter has 22 HRs and 53 RBIs with a .473 slugging percentage. OF George Springer (quadriceps) could get activated from the DL on Friday, but he left a rehab game Wednesday with discomfort. The Astros' Scott Feldman is scheduled to make his fifth start against his former team Saturday. Feldman is 1-1 with a 4.07 ERA vs. the Rangers.

What’s up with the Rangers? Something good. The Rangers have won two in a row and are feeling good about themselves despite the 45-69 mark. Neftali Feliz displayed some velocity in his fastball in earning the save Wednesday. 1B J.P. Arencibia leads the majors with 20 RBIs in the second half of the season. Elvis Andrus has a 13-game hit streak going. The last time he failed to get a hit was July 23, the rain shortened game against the New York Yankees that lasted just 5 1/3 innings.

Rangers home run hitters: The Rangers have hit eight home runs in the last three games and have 10 in the 18 games since the All-Star Break. The bulk of the homers came Tuesday night when they hit five in a 16-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. Prior to the White Sox series, the Rangers hadn't hit a homer in four consecutive games. The Rangers are tied with the New York Mets for 26th in the big leagues with 84 home runs.

Moves, moves and more moves: RF Alex Rios has cleared waivers allowing the Rangers to trade him to any team they please. The Rangers are open to keeping Rios, but if some quality prospects can be obtained, GM Jon Daniels might do it. Could this be Rios’ final series with the Rangers? Catcher Geovany Soto has completed his rehab stint from a pulled right groin and should play this weekend.

The matchups: Friday: RHP Miles Mikolas (1-4, 7.29) vs. LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-7, 4.17). Saturday: RHP Yu Darvish (10-6, 2.82) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (5-8, 4.13).Sunday: RHP Nick Martinez (1-8, 5.31) vs. RHP Brad Peacock (3-7, 4.93).