Sunday marks the beginning of the 2023 American League Championship Series between inner-state and division rivals, as the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will meet in their first postseason series against each other.
After losing out on a division crown in the final weekend series of the regular season, the Rangers pounced on the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card round and swept past the American League’s top seed in the Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers are riding a six-game winning streak dating back to game 162 against the Seattle Mariners.
The Rangers will call on left-hander Jordan Montgomery to start Game 1. Montgomery carries a 3.27 ERA and seven strikeouts in 11 postseason innings so far.
The Astros are the only remaining first place team in the postseason, as they will play in their seventh straight championship series. The Astros fended off a Minnesota Twins team that had won their first postseason series in 21 years in four games to advance.
The Astros will send Justin Verlander to start Game 1. Verlander in his lone outing against the Twins tossed six shutout innings, striking out six in the victory.