The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros face off starting on Labor Day Monday. It is a highly anticipated three-game series that will go a long way toward determining the postseason future for both of these teams. The Rangers and Astros enter the series in a three-way race with the Mariners for the AL West division title. Texas and Houston are currently tied both one game behind Seattle. This series could determine if the race stays a three-team race or narrows to a two-team race. Both of these teams have lots of talent, but these five players will have a big hand in determining who wins and loses this series.
3 Texas Rangers who need to step up for Texas to win the series
#1 Adolis Garcia
I do not think it is an exagerration to say that Garcia is really the heart and soul of this team. He provides energy and swagger to this lineup. He showed on Sunday afternoon with his walk-off home run that he has an ability to come through in clutch situations.
Lately he just has not been playing well at all. It has been hard to watch as he continues to swing and miss at high fastballs. It has become very predictable now to watch a Garcia at-bat and with two strikes know that the pitcher is going to go above the zone with a high fastball.
This cold stretch of baseball by the Texas Rangers is also coinciding with a cold stretch from Garcia. In Rangers' wins Garcia has a .298 batting average with 24 home runs, in Rangers' losses he has a .178 batting average with just nine home runs. When he plays well the Rangers play well. Texas needs Garcia to return to being that player who is able to refrain from chasing at pitches outside of the zone. They need him to wait for his pitch and then smash it when it comes.
Garcia also does have a history of success against the Astros. In his career Garcia has 12 home runs against the Astros and a .275 batting average. The 12 home runs is the most he has against any opponent and is tied with the Oakland A's . He is the Astros killer on this team and Texas will need him to do so again over the next three games.