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Holland Pushed Up, Adding Pressure to Houston

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    Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 25, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Over the weekend, the Rangers pushed Cole Hamels back to Monday night's series opener against the Astros, but it was much more that just that.

    Now, because of the move, Hamels is set to open next weekend's series against the Astros in Houston and then would be in line to start either the AL Wild Card Game or Game 1 of the ALDS. Now, the Rangers have made another rotation move, pushing Derek Holland up a day to start Tuesday's game and pushing Martin Perez back a day to start Wednesday's game against Dallas Keuchel.

    Perez has been great when he's been on and also pretty bad a couple of times since returning from a 14-month layoff after Tommy John surgery last year, but make no mistake, this move was more about Holland.

    Since returning from the disabled list, Holland has been the Rangers' best pitcher, and now he has a chance to pitch the Rangers to first place with a win over the Astros on Tuesday night. It also means the Rangers' postseason rotation is set with Hamels and Holland going back-to-back.

    The pressure is on the Astros now. They have to beat Holland to avoid falling out of first place and avoid losing the first two games to their in-state rival chasing them down for the AL West crown.