The battle of the two Texas Major League Baseball teams continued on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Houston Astros had a very easy win against the Texas Rangers. Gerrit Cole was the star for the Astros when he pitched six innings and he only allowed a single earned run. Michael Brantley hit his tenth home run of the year and Aledmys Diaz blasted a grand slam to put the game out of reach. The Astros defeated the Rangers by a final score of 11-4. It was another solid team effort for the Astros who continue to play great so far this season.
The Astros and Rangers are two teams that had very different expectations coming into the 2019 season. Most people firmly believe that the Astros are one of the best teams in baseball. They have done nothing so far this season to make anyone believe otherwise. They have received very solid contributions from all of their star players with the exception of former most valuable player Jose Altuve. He has been hurt for the majority of the season so far. He had to leave a game a few days ago because of a strain in his calf muscle. Altuve did not play in Saturday night’s game.
The Texas Rangers were never expected to be a serious contender for a division title or a playoff spot in 2019. They have too many young players to be expected to win on a regular basis. They have done some very nice things so far this year. However, the fact that aging veteran Hunter Pence has received a lot of playing time so far this year shows that the Rangers are basically mailing in this season. Drew Smyly took the loss in the game for the Rangers. He came one out short of pitching five innings. He surrendered four earned runs while he was on the mound. To say that Smyly has struggled this season would be a huge understatement. His earned run average is now 6.85.
It is a commonly held belief that the Houston Astros are going to run away with the American League West division. None of the other teams have the talent to contend with the potent lineup or the great pitching staff that the Astros can put out there day after day. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season unfolds.