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 Chas McCormick

The 28-year old outfielder for the Astros is now in his third season and has become one of the more underrated players on the Astros team. He made a tremendous play in the World Series last year going into the wall in Philadelphia that helped the Astros win game 5 of that series on their way to winning the series in six games. He just has the ability to make a play when it matters the most.

The Astros lineup is full of stars and so it may appear that when a team gets past the Tucker-Alvarez-and Abreu trio it would get easier. That would be incorrect. The bottom third of McCormick, Pena, and Maldonado is challenging as well. McCormick this season has a .281 batting average, with 19 home runs, and 60 RBIs. McCormick has been great since the break. He has a .309 batting average, 11 home runs, and 33 RBIs.

McCormick is the bridge for this lineup. If he gets on base it makes it more likely that a pitcher will have to face Altuve and the top of the order with a runner on base. This is how some big innings get started for the Astros. Texas has to remember that even though McCormick is hitting seventh he can impact a game much like a player that hits third or fourth.

This Texas-Houston series is a huge series for both teams, but especially for Texas. The Rangers have been in a slide for the last three weeks. This is their chance to show they can compete with the Astros and stay in this race. It is winning time and Texas could really put some distance between themselves and the Astros if they can win two or all three games. This series could be defined by these five players.