For the first time in the American League, both the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros have advanced to the AL Division Series in hopes of making it to the 2015 World Series.
After the Astros’ first trip to the World Series in 2005, the team saw a constant decline in their performance with a club record of 111 losses in 2013.
During the club’s second year in the AL, the team exhibited improvements with a 19 game improvement from 2013 and a starting rotation that started to show promise.
The Astros concluded the 2015 season with a record of 86-76 and fell second behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West Division. After defeating the New York Yankees in the Wild Card, the Astros advanced to play the Kansas City Royals in the Division Series.
During the first game of the series the Astros seized the home-field advantage from the top-seeded Royals with a game one victory of 5-2, but during game two the club fell to the Royals 5-4.
While Houston was defeated, outfielder Colby Rasmus hit an RBI double and a solo homerun, breaking a major-league record for consecutive games with an extra-base hit.
After a 1-1 record in Kansas, the Astros came back to Houston where they defeated the Royals 4-2 in game three but fell short 9-6 on Monday in game four, tying the series 2-2.
During game three, pitcher Dallas Keuchel earned an ERA of 1.29 during his seven innings on the pitchers mound.
The following game, rookie pitcher Lance McCullers struck out seven players at bat which is the highest number of strikeouts for a rookie pitcher in the postseason.
The Houston Astros will go on to face the Royals today in Kansas City in hopes of advancing to the American League Championship Series. This is a win or go home situation, putting one team’s dreams of advancement at rest and the other’s into action.
On the other hand, the Texas Rangers are currently facing off with the Toronto Blue Jays in hopes of also advancing to the ALCS.
The Texas Rangers have advanced to the MLB postseason seven times, with six coming after a division championship in 1996.
The Rangers made their first trip to the World Series in 2010 where the team fell to the San Francisco Giants.
The Rangers ended the 2015 season at first place in the AL West Division with a record of 88-74 and fell third behind Toronto in the Division Leaders board.
The Rangers traveled to Toronto where they swept the Blue Jays 5-3 in game one and 6-4 in game two of the ALDS.
The Rangers welcomed back catcher Robinson Chirinos after he missed the majority of September due to a bicep injury.
Game two went into overtime after the Rangers scored a run in the eighth inning. Neither team made it to home plate until the 14th inning when Hanser Alberto of the Rangers hit a RBI. Following Hansers at bat, Delino De Shields also hit a RBI, improving the score 6-4.
Following the sweep against Toronto, the Rangers traveled back to Dallas where they fell to the Blue Jays 5-1 in game three. Elvis Andrus, who ran home after Rougned Odor hit a groundball to shortstop, made the only run of the game.
The Rangers fell to the Blue Jays in game four 8-4, tying the series 2-2. During the first three innings the Blue Jays posted seven points, putting the Rangers in a seven run deficient.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a RBI in the third inning, allowing Josh Donaldson to score the first point of the game for the Rangers. By the bottom of the eighth, the Rangers had scored three more points, but still fell short to the Blue Jays.
The Rangers travelled to Toronto where they play game five against the Blue Jays today.
With both Texas teams’ seasons at stake, today will decide whether there will be a Texas showdown in the American League Championship Series or whether there will a Texas team survive at all.