Week ahead: Astros, home vs. Angels

HOUSTON -- The Rangers have an off day Monday and then have two more games against Houston before another off day Thursday and then the home opener Friday against Josh Hamilton and the Angels to start a big weekend series.

  • The Astros gained the upper hand in the battle for the Silver Boot with an 8-2 victory over the Rangers in Sunday night's season opener. The Rangers currently hold the trophy. Things are little different this season with the teams playing 19 times instead of the six times they played when it was an interleague home-and-home series. The Rangers still hold a 42-31 overall advantage in the series after Sunday's lopsided loss.

  • Yu Darvish will try to turn things around for the Rangers in Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. start. Darvish could easily have been the opening day starter, but the Rangers opted for Matt Harrison instead.

  • The Rangers' offense managed just six singles in Sunday's 8-2 loss. DH Lance Berkman had two singles, extending his hitting streak at Minute Maid Park to 13 games.

  • The Rangers were 9-10 against the Angels in 2012 with a 5-5 record at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

  • The Angels open the season with a three-game series against Cincinnati, which means that Hamilton will play against the team that traded him to the Rangers -- the Reds -- before playing his former team in Texas.