The Texas Rangers stormed into Houston and put the defending world champion Astros on notice, using tough pitching and timely offense to take the first two games of this ALCS — and take a commanding series lead back home to Arlington. But Houston has been here many, many times before, and they seem unlikely to let their title defense go down in flames without a fight. The ‘Stros will hand the ball to righty Cristian Javier (10-5, 4.56 ERA) as they hope to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole, while Max Scherzer (13-6, 3.77) makes his return from a shoulder injury to start for Texas. First pitch from Globe Life Park is set for 8:07 p.m. ET.
Texas enters as -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Astros at +110. The run total is set at 9.
The Rangers have released their lineup for tonight’s game, so let’s take a look at how they’ll line up against Javier.
Rangers starting lineup, ALCS Game 3, October 18
Rangers starting lineup for ALCS Game 3, October 18 vs. Houston pic.twitter.com/3MWUfvbbrx— Texas Rangers PR (@TXRangersPR) October 18, 2023
How’s this for a vote of confidence? Mitch Garver (or Robbie Grossman, against lefties) had been occupying the three-hole for Bruce Bochy in October, but there’ll be a new face for Game 3: red-hot rookie Evan Carter. Garver is still handling DH duties, but he’ll drop down to sixth in the order behind catcher Jonah Heim, with Nathaniel Lowe, Josh Jung and Leody Taveras rounding out the Rangers order.