The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are the only two Major League Baseball teams in the state of Dallas, and they have developed a nice rivalry through the years. This rivalry is often referred to as the “Lone Star Series,” and it has already produced some memorable moments on the baseball field. The Astros and Rangers began as interleague rivals during the 2001 season, but they have now become divisional rivals in the American League West Division.
Both teams have made World Series appearances in recent seasons, and they are often competing against one another for the top spot in the division. One of the most dominant pitchers in Major League history, Nolan Ryan, pitched for both teams during his legendary career, and there have been a handful of other players who have done the same. The state of Texas is traditionally known for their football, but the state pays close attention when the Astros and Rangers are on the field together.
History of Astros vs. Rangers Rivalry
The first meeting between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers took place on June 8, 2001 as part of the “Silver Boot” series in interleague play. The Astros and Rangers were extremely competitive through the first 7-8 years of this rivalry, but things began to change when the Astros were moved to the American League. The Texas Rangers dominated this rivalry from 2007-16, but the Houston Astros have flipped the script in the last two seasons. The Rangers hold a 109-77 lead in the all-time series and have outscored the Astros by a count of 963-807. Houston and Texas have combined to win the last four American League West Division titles, and they are clearly the two best teams in the division.
The Houston franchise was established in 1962 as the Colt .45s, but they changed the name to the Astros in 1965. The Astros were members of the National League from 1962-2012 but were moved to the American League West Division in 2013. Houston was swept by the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, which was their only appearance in the Fall Classic while members of the National League. The Astros went through a horrible stretch around the time they entered the American League, but they are now one of the best teams in baseball. Houston won the 2017 World Series and was one of the top teams in the American League again the following season. Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are the only two players wearing an Astros logo in the Hall of Fame.
The Texas Rangers actually got their start as the Washington Senators in 1961. The team moved to Arlington Texas in 1972, and the Texas Rangers have competed in the American League West Division since that time. Since the move to Texas, the Rangers have made just eight playoff appearances, with all of them coming since the 1996 season. The Rangers looked like they were going to win the World Series in both 2010 and 2011, but they ultimately fell short. Texas won back-to-back AL West titles in 2015 and 2016, but they have struggled since that time. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and Nolan Ryan are two of the best players in franchise history and are both wearing the Rangers logo on their Hall of Fame plaque.
Head to Head Comparison of Astros vs. Rangers
The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers might have a terrific rivalry against each other, but neither team has had a ton of postseason success. The Astros were able to capture the 2017 World Series title, while the Texas Rangers are still looking for their first World Series win in franchise history. Both the Astros and Rangers have won a pair of pennants in franchise history. Texas won the American League pennant in 2010 and 2011, and the Astros won the National League pennant in 2005 and the AL pennant in 2017.
Houston also holds a slim lead in division titles, winning eight of them in three different divisions. The Texas Rangers won the American League West Division a total of seven times. Odds are that each team will improve on these numbers in the future, but the past hasn’t been too kind to either franchise.
Look at Last 20 Games Between Astros and Rangers
The Texas Rangers might have the lead in the all-time head to head series, but that doesn’t help us identify the most recent trends between the two rivals. Let’s take a quick look at the last 20 games between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers in order to try to make some predictions for how the 2019 season will go. The Astros and Rangers have met 20 times since September 27, 2017, with 19 of the games coming during the 2018 regular season.
The Houston Astros have had a decided advantage in the last 20 games, posting a 13-7 record against their in-state rival. Houston enjoyed an eight-game winning streak against the Rangers during the summer months in 2018. One extremely interesting trend in the last 20 games of this series is that the road teams have won 16 of the games. Houston went 10-1 against the Rangers in road games, while the Rangers posted a 6-3 record against the Astros in Houston.
The Houston Astros were one of the top teams in baseball during the 2018 season, so they obviously had the better of the Rangers in this series. There is much more to look at in this rivalry than just the head-to-head results. We will continue to use the last 20 games, but let’s look at the total runs in each game as well as the results bases on who was favored to win each game. The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers combined to go “over” the projected run total just eight times in the last 20 games.
Houston and Texas combined to go “under” the run total in the other 12 games, and this trend is something we can use to make predictions for the upcoming season. The run spread for each game was set at 1.5 runs, and the Astros were the betting favorite at -1.5 in each of the last 20 games. While the Astros won 13 games outright, they only managed to cover the spread in nine of the last 20 matchups. Expect the Texas Rangers to be 1.5 point underdogs in almost all of the games again in 2019. Looking at the whole picture, there are plenty of reasons to bet on Texas.