What’s better than an in-state rivalry in the ALCS? The Rangers and Astros are facing off in the postseason for the first time, two weeks after battling for the AL West crown right down to the final day of the regular season.
The Astros aren’t new to this stage. Houston has reached the ALCS in seven consecutive years, played in four World Series since 2017, and hosted two championship parades downtown in that span.
The Rangers, on the other hand, had not been to the ALCS since 2011 before sweeping the Orioles and advancing this October. When they last played on this stage, they were in an entirely different ballpark. While they didn’t go far, the Rangers still might be farther away from the Astros than one might think.
Here’s what you need to know about where the Rangers play and how far they are from Houston.
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Where do the Texas Rangers play?
The Rangers are one of a few teams around baseball whose name doesn’t specify which city they’re representing. While that might be by design, the Rangers have called Arlington home since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972.
The Rangers effectively represent the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which includes Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington. The Dallas Cowboys also call Arlington home, despite their name. The Cowboys play across the street from the home of the Rangers.
Below is a closer look at the Rangers’ stadium.
Texas Rangers stadium
A Rangers return to the World Series would bring back memories of the franchise’s great run in 2010 and 2011, but they would not be playing in the same stadium they did during that stretch.
The Rangers play in Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020 less than three years after construction began. The stadium seats 40,300 fans and has a retractable roof. The Rangers didn’t play in front of fans until 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Oddly enough, Globe Life Field has already hosted a World Series. The venue played host to the entire 2020 Fall Classic, which was held at a neutral site with limited attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stadium has witnessed a few more milestones as well — Joe Musgrove and Corey Kluber tossed no-hitters at Globe Life Field in 2021, and Aaron Judge hit his AL-record 62nd home run of the season at the ballpark in 2022.
Globe Life Field will also host the 2024 MLB All-Star Game, along with the Home Run Derby and other related festivities.
After the Astros hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy in Houston last season, can the Rangers keep it in the state of Texas this year?
*Globe Life Field has entered the conversation*
This #postseason atmosphere >
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) October 11, 2023
How far is Arlington from Houston?
Arlington is about 230 miles from Houston, or a four-hour drive if all goes well.
While the ALCS is an in-state series this year, Arlington and Houston aren’t exactly neighbors. It’s much easier for these teams to travel to and from each city by plane, and the distance, for example, isn’t much different than Boston and New York (about 215 miles).
Despite not being next-door neighbors, the teams’ fan bases will tell you that the rivalry between the Rangers and Astros has grown more bitter this season as the Rangers have established themselves as World Series contenders. Only one will move on to the World Series, and the Rangers have given themselves a chance to advance in front of their home fans in Arlington.
Is Arlington a part of Dallas?
Arlington is not part of Dallas. Though the Rangers’ neighbors, the Cowboys, use Dallas in their team name, the stadium complex is actually about 18 miles from the center of Dallas.
Arlington isn’t even in the same county as Dallas; it sits in Tarrant County, which is also home to Fort Worth. That city on the west side of what’s known as the Metroplex is about 16 miles from Globe Life Field.
The sprawling area includes three of the seven most populated cities in Texas as of the 2022 census estimate, with Dallas third (1.3 million), Fort Worth fifth (957,000) and Arlington seventh (395,000).
Arlington, Texas map
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Rangers vs. Astros history
The 2023 ALCS marks the first postseason meeting between the in-state rivals, but they’ve seen plenty of each other in recent years, particularly since the Astros moved from the NL Central to join the Rangers in the AL West in 2013.
The annual season series between the Rangers and Astros is known as the Silver Boot Series or Lone Star Series, and Houston has dominated it of late. Entering the ALCS, the Astros were 79-39 against the Rangers since 2017, including 9-4 this year.
However, the Rangers still own a slight edge in the overall regular-season series, 134-132, since their first matchup in interleague play on June 8, 2001.