You know what they say about momentum in the game of baseball.
No? Well, the old adage says momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher.
On Wednesday night, the Houston Astros trot arguably the best pitcher in the American League out to the mound for a pivotal game against the red-hot, newly crowned first-place Rangers. Another Rangers win means a widening gap in the standings between them and the Astros with just a couple of weeks left in the season. An Astros win means they're back in first place after a one-day absence.
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The Rangers, indeed, have a big test in the form of Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel, who's the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young award this year. He's the league leader in innings (206 2/3), wins (17), ERA (2.22), as well as hits (7.0) and home runs (0.6) per nine innings and leads the league with a 0.997 WHIP. In other words, he's very good.
The Rangers are hitting .169 against Keuchel in his three starts against them. He has a 1-0 record with a 1.23 ERA, and he can bring all the momentum and hype the Rangers have built over the last couple of days to a screeching halt with a shutdown effort on Wednesday.