Key things to watch for in today's games

Key things to watch for in today's games

The race for the American League West title has taken some dramatic twists and turns, and the Rangers and Astros will square off for another chapter on Thursday. Texas has stormed back into control with its dramatic second-half resurgence, and Houston is trying to regain the top spot in the division.

The Astros will go with rookie Lance McCullers in the series finale, and he'll be looking to end a long dry spell without a win. McCullers hasn't won since July 29, and he's 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA in his last five starts. But he's also posted a 5-5 record an a 3.10 ERA over his first 18 big league starts.

The Rangers will counter with veteran Colby Lewis, who's already set a career best this season with 15 wins. Lewis carried a perfect game into the seventh inning of his last start and settled for a two-hit shutout, and the 36-year-old has managed an 8-6 record and a 4.33 ERA in 15 road starts.

Here are a few other matchups and games to look forward to today.

Jays seek momentum: TOR @ ATL, 7:10 p.m. ET
The Yankees may have a day off, but the Blue Jays have to keep playing. Toronto is trying to close out the AL East, but it ran into a speed bump against Atlanta in Tuesday's series opener.

Marco Estrada will start for Toronto, and he's working on a 12-8 record and a 3.31 ERA this season. Estrada, who has made 24 starts and six relief appearances, has logged identical 6-4 records at home and on the road, but he's logged a markedly higher ERA (3.67 to 2.97) in his road outings.

Rookie Matt Wisler will get the call for Atlanta. The right-hander has gone 5-7 with a 5.60 ERA in his first 16 appearances in the Majors, and he was 3-4 with a 4.29 ERA for Triple-A Gwinnett prior to his promotion. The 23-year-old has given up 12 homers in his first 80 1/3 big league innings.

Estrada earns the win

Finishing strong, LAA @ MIN, 8:10 p.m. ET
The Twins and Angels will both be glancing at the scoreboard for an idea of what's going on between the Astros and the Rangers. The Angels are still hoping to catch up in the AL West, and the Twins trail the Astros for the second Wild Card slot.

The Twins have had a losing record in each of the last four seasons, and they've stayed afloat in the AL Central despite posting a losing record in the second half. Tommy Milone will try to keep the Twins going in the right direction, and he's 8-5 with a 3.73 ERA this season. Lefty Hector Santiago will get the ball for the Angels.

Milone's strong start

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.