Major League Baseball
Preview
Houston at Texas
When: 8:05 PM ET, Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

The Texas Rangers look to stay hot down the stretch as they host the Houston Astros in the second of three straight on Tuesday. Texas still has the worst record in the American League but has rolled to nine wins in its last 10 games, including a 4-3 victory in the series opener Monday night. Rougned Odor's three-run triple was the big hit and Derek Holland remained solid in his return from knee surgery with seven strong innings to spark the Rangers.

Houston has lost five of its last seven overall but still owns the season series by an 11-6 margin against its in-state foes. The remaining drama surrounds Jose Altuve, who already set the franchise record for hits in a season and has 221 entering Tuesday. The All-Star's total is the most by a second baseman since Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer had 227 in 1936.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, CSN Houston, FSN Southwest (Texas)

PITCHING MATCHUP:
Astros LH Brett Oberholtzer (5-12, 4.39 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Nick Martinez (4-11, 4.85)

Oberholtzer has been wildly inconsistent of late but was on his game Wednesday, limiting Cleveland to two runs in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. It was the second straight start in which Oberholtzer had not walked a single batter. He was pounded for seven runs in 4 1/3 frames against Texas on Aug. 29 but held the Rangers to just three runs in 14 innings over his first two meetings in 2014.

Martinez has lasted at least five innings but no more than six in a span of 12 straight starts. He tied a season low in a starting role by yielding three hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 7-2 victory at Oakland on Thursday. The 24-year-old is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four games (two starts) in his career against Houston.

WALK-OFFS

1. Texas is a half-game behind Arizona for the worst record in baseball.

2. Odor has eight RBIs in his last eight games.

3. The Astros are 10-9 under interim manager Tom Lawless while the Rangers are 10-6 under Tim Bogar.

PREDICTION: Rangers 5, Astros 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Houston 69-88 L1 38-43 31-45 16-18 14-18 35-39 4-13
Texas 63-93 W2 29-46 34-47 10-23 14-19 29-41 10-10
Last Meeting
Houston Texas
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/22/14 HOU 3 TEX 4 .250 0 .629 .207 0 .557
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .373 25 .920
Texas A. Beltre .327 18 .973
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston C. Carter 3 11 7
Texas A. Beltre 3 7 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 3.49 .274 128
Texas 4.61 .253 138
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .345 221 .839
Texas A. Beltre .323 170 .876
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston C. Carter 37 67 88
Texas A. Beltre 18 77 75
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 4.15 .243 1107
Texas 4.57 .257 1069