At this point in the season, every game is a must-win for the Rangers. Hoping to play into October, Texas sits one game back of the Indians for the second American League Wild Card spot.
After an impressive 12-0 win over the Astros on Monday night, the team will send stopper Yu Darvish to the hill on Tuesday night in Arlington.
It's the perfect time for Darvish to get the start. He's 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA in four outings against Houston this year. He came within one out of throwing a perfect game against the Astros in his first start of the season, and held the team to one hit while striking out 15 on Aug. 12.
"Like I have always been saying, a game in April is no different than in September," Darvish said. "My job is to do the best I can and pitch the best I can."
The Astros know what is on the line for the Rangers, and they are hoping to have better luck against Darvish this time around.
"We definitely relish the challenge," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He has great stuff. As time wore on, he's had some good games against us. I think our guys have made good adjustments and we've actually fared a little bit better, but it's going to be a challenge. He's a guy that has his fastball anywhere from 89 to 96 [mph], throws his breaking stuff in any count and he's one of the better pitchers in our league."
It'll be up to Astros right-hander Brad Peacock to match Darvish in what will be his final start of the season. He's gone 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in his last three starts.
In his previous outing, against the Reds, Peacock allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in 5 2/3 innings for the no-decision.
In one start against the Rangers earlier this season, Peacock went six innings, allowing just one run on three hits for a no-decision.
Astros: No. 1 pick secured
Houston has officially secured the No. 1 pick in next year's First-Year Player Draft. It makes them the first team to have the top pick three years in a row.
While the pick is now official, Astros scouting director Mike Elias said nothing from a scouting perspective will change because of the team having the first selection.
"We've been approaching the fall season as if we're picking in the top three," Elias said. "We're on the lookout for any players who could be the top first, third or even fifth picks in the country."
North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, projected as the likely No. 1 pick, is definitely on the Astros' radar.
Rangers: Cruz's playoff status uncertain
General manager John Daniels clarified comments made to USA Today in regards to Nelson Cruz's suspension.
Daniels said Monday the he doesn't blame Cruz for the club's current slump, in which Texas has lost 15 of its last 21 games.
"Ultimately, the decisions he made put him in that position," Daniels said. "I'm certainly not putting any more than that on him."
Daniels said the Rangers still haven't decided whether they will bring Cruz back if they make it to the postseason.
• Lance Berkman is expected to be used only as a pinch-hitter for the Rangers the rest of the regular season. Berkman is still bothered by inflammation in his left hip as well as a chronically sore right knee.
• Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has the fourth-highest batting average in the AL this month at .372 (35-for-94).
• The Astros have lost a season-high 10 games in a row and have 106 losses on the season. The club record is 107 losses in 2012.
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.