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MLB ALCS Game 1: Rangers at Astros

Two AL West rivals begin their battle for a spot in the World Series

MLB: ALDS-Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
On a streak: Partially thanks to starter Jordan Montgomery, the Rangers are 5-0 this postseason.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball’s Final Four begins tonight. In the American League Championship Series, we have two teams from the AL West, as the Astros (90-72) will take on the Rangers (90-72).

The Astros are the favorites to win this series, as FanGraphs gives them a 59.0% chance of advancing to the World Series. This is the seventh consecutive year that the Astros have made it this far. Especially given the unpredictability of the postseason, that is an incredible streak. Today, Justin Verlander will start for Houston on the mound. Verlander, 40, is a right-handed pitcher who will surely be in the Hall of Fame. Verlander another strong season (3.23 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 3.3 fWAR), and his will be his second start this postseason. Verlander’s first postseason start this year was against Minnesota, and he was phenomenal during that game (six innings, no runs, four hits). The Astros won that game, and they beat Minnesota in the ALDS, three games to one.

Jordan Montgomery, 30, will start for the Rangers. Montgomery, a left-handed pitcher, put up excellent numbers during the regular season (3.20 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 4.3 fWAR). This postseason, Montgomery has made two starts, and he was fantastic during his game against the Rays (seven innings, no runs, six hits). The Rangers won both of both of their games against Tampa Bay to advance to the ALDS, where they faced Baltimore. Montgomery was not as sharp against the Orioles, allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings. However, the Rangers won that game, and they proceeded to sweep the Orioles.

Here are the starting lineups:

The first pitch is scheduled to happen at 7:15 p.m. Central, and FOX will cover the game.