3 Texas Rangers to watch, and 2 Houston Astros that Texas needs to shut down

Texas is about to play the most important series of the season starting on Labor Day, and these are the players that will likely determine the outcome of the series.
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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#2 Aroldis Chapman

Chapman was traded to Texas with expectations that he would rescue the bullpen. He has been far outshone by the player Texas traded to bring Chapman to Texas. Cole Ragans has been one of the best pitchers in the American League as he was just named the AL Pitcher of the month for August. Chapman has been far from the shutdown closer that Texas was hoping he would be.

Chapman has a chance to start a dominant run of pitching that leads Texas all the way to the playoffs. Texas will need Chapman to be great. He is the one pitcher with true closer stuff on the roster. He has excellent velocity and complimentary secondary pitches as well. When he is on he is nearly unhittable.

Chapman has had one issue lately and that is walks. He has walked at least one batter in five of his last six appearances. It should be no surprise that he has allowed runs in four of his last six appearances. He also has two blown saves and two losses in that time period as well. He does not enter this series pitching well by any metric. These games will all likely be close and Texas needs to be able to rely on him to come in and shut down the Astros lineup.

If Texas can get the elite Chapman to pitch over the next three games they will win this series. The crowd is going to be behind him and he will called upon in high-leverage situations. This is his opportunity to prove that he still can pitch for a contender.