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With AL West Division Crown On the Line for the Rangers and Astros, Scherzer and Verlander Face-Off Against Each Other On Wednesday

To begin the 2023 MLB season, both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander were teammates on the New York Mets, but after the first half of the season that turned into a bust, both found themselves on new teams for the postseason push.

Scherzer was shipped out to the Texas Rangers on July 30th, and Verlander returned to the Houston Astros on August 1st, after winning  the CY Young and World Series with the club in 2022.  Now both pitchers are looking to lead their current squads towards a World Series crown.

On Wednesday, the duo will start for their respective clubs in what is looking like a three team race for the AL West crown. The Seattle Mariners, who won 21 games in August and helped propel them to the top of the division, are now tied with the Astros for first, with the Rangers sitting just a game out of the lead. As of September 5th, all three teams are in contention for either a division crown or wild card spot.

Since the acquisition of Scherzer on July 30th, the Rangers are 16-16, and overall 76-62. As for the Astros, they are 17-14 since Verlander returned and 78-61 overall.

 

Scherzer was 9-4, with a 4.01 ERA through 19 starts with the Mets, and in six starts with the Rangers, he is 3-1, with a 2.21 ERA. The choice of Scherzer to join the Rangers was to give him a shot to get back to the postseason, but after their recent slide, they will need Scherzer to keep pitching well to keep them in the hunt.

Over his last six starts, only one did Scherzer not get past the fourth inning, but he did put up a season high 11 strikeouts prior to the shortened game, and in his very next start, he struck out 10 in seven innings. In his last outing, Scherzer threw a six inning gem, allowing no runs on one hit, with two walks and struck out seven batters.

Verlander, it seemed like he struggled to win games with the Mets, but it was not for lack of trying as the Mets bullpen struggled to hold onto leads early on in the season. Verlander was pitching to contact and did not miss many bats, but overall the was 6-5 through 16 starts, and a 3.15 ERA, which is the highest he has had with any team dating back to 2017, when he recorded a 3.82 ERA in the first half with the Detroit Tigers.

Since joining the Astros, he has not fared much better as he has posted a 3.86 ERA and is 4-2, through six starts.

The future Hall of Fame pitchers will face off in the rubber match on Wednesday, but on Tuesday the Rangers will try and even the three game series after the Astros clubbed them for 13 runs on 16 hits on Labor Day. The Rangers shut down the ‘Stros early on, but the Houston hitting barrage started in the fifth and didn’t stop.

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Both Scherzer and Verlander were slated to take the Mets to the promise land, with what would have been an amazing postseason run led by two Legends. But as seasons change, so do opportunities and now one Legend will try and outpitch the other with a chance to get the upper-hand in the division.

This will be a clash for the ages, so tune in and watch as the Rangers try and take down the Astros to stay within contention for the division crown.

 

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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