The non-stars who need to show up for their team to win

Who better ball for Colts and Texans

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You know the big names. Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson at quarterback. T.Y. Hilton and DeAndre Hopkins catching the ball from them. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney trying to make Luck run for his life. There's plenty of star power to go around in this game. The stars almost always show up in these games. With the stars performances almost a forgone conclusion we get to the next level of players. These players are non-stars who can turn the tide of the game.

Who better ball for the Colts or Texans to win the game? Let's find out.

Keke Coutee

Now, it is unknown if he is even going to play in this game. The Texans rookie wideout has played very little this season due to a hamstring injury. He is officially questionable and a game-time decision but it would make sense he is playing because if he wasn't the Texans have been wasting a roster spot on him.

He was magnificent in his NFL debut against the Colts earlier this season. It was his first NFL game action period as he missed the preseason with the hamstring injury. He caught 11 passes for 109 yards making clutch plays for Watson and the offense. If healthy and available, he provides an element the Texans don't have and would be tough to scheme for with the limited looks at him.

Dontrelle Inman

The former Canadian Football League pass catcher joined the Colts mid season and while it has taken some time for him to gel with the offense he's shown incredible talent the past two weeks. He's caught 11 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Now while it might not seem like a lot he stepped up when Hilton was ailing and the Texans have struggled to cover anyone on the Colts. Add to the fact they haven't faced Inman yet and he is a player to watch.

Christian Covington

The Texans defensive lineman has had the most success this year against the AFC South. He absolutely mauled the Titans a little over a month ago and he sacked Luck the last time these two teams met. The Colts do a very solid job of neutralizing the Texans edge rushes with their quick passing game and even when they do risk a big drop back they have stymied Watt and Clowney more than a few times. Covington's ability to rush from the middle of the line is invaluable in this game. Especially if Clowney is rushing with him occupying Colts linemen. Covington will have to win solo battles and make plays.

Pierre Desir

He is one of the best stories on the field. A son to Haitian immigrants who played at Division II schools and was called the Division II Richard Sherman spent time as a temp agent to make money for a family he had when he was very young. Drafted by the Browns and bouncing around the NFL until he ended up playing for the Colts. He is maybe the most important player on the Colts defense. He got lit up in the first game between the Texans and the Colts. Last game though, he shadowed Hopkins and the best receiver in the NFL turned in his worst game with just four catches and 36 yards total. If Desir plays that way against Hopkins again, simply, the Colts win.

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McCullers Jr. had nine strikeouts over four

McCullers Jr. looks sharp in tune-up before Rangers overpower Houston's bullpen

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite watching their chance to clinch their playoff spot on the field slip away in the walk-off loss on Friday, the Astros benefited from a loss by the Angels later in the night, securing their playoff berth. That meant they could play conservatively in the final two games of the season against the Rangers in Arlington. Here's a quick rundown of Saturday's matchup:

Final Score: Rangers 6, Astros 1.

Record: 29-30, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jimmy Herget (1-0, 3.20 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-3, 6.75 ERA).

McCullers Jr. looks playoff-ready 

With nothing substantial to play for, the Astros did not expect to ask Lance McCullers Jr. to go deep into Saturday's game, instead giving him a few innings for a tune-up before assuming whatever role he would play in the post-season. He looked impressive, a promising sign after his injury stint and struggles on the road at points this season.

He finished four innings, during which he racked up a season-high nine strikeouts while giving up no runs on just two hits, both singles, and two walks. His final line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 0 HR, 61 P.

Both teams trade runs as  they go to their bullpens

Meanwhile, neither team was getting much going at the plate in the early goings, keeping it a scoreless game through the first five. Brandon Bielak took over for McCullers Jr. starting in the fifth but would allow the first run of the night in the bottom of the sixth as the Rangers would get three singles to take a 1-0 lead.

After Kyle Gibson held the Astros at bay for six innings, Houston would get on the board against Texas' bullpen, getting a leadoff double by Aledmyz Diaz in the top of the seventh. Diaz moved to third on a sac bunt, then scored on a sac fly by Jack Mayfield, making it 1-1.

Rangers blow it open in the seventh

The tie didn't last long, as Bielak would put two on base in the bottom of the seventh before giving up a three-run homer to make it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Andre Scrubb was next out of Houston's bullpen and allowed a solo home run on his first pitch. Scrubb would complete the inning, but not before allowing another run on three singles to push Texas' lead to 6-1.

Cy Sneed was next out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Houston would not make the unlikely comeback in the top of the ninth, with the Rangers taking the game 6-1.

Up Next: The last game of the Astros' 2020 regular season will be Sunday at 2:05 PM Central, as are most other games on the MLB slate on the league's final regular-season day. Houston's starter is TBD as they will continue to preserve their arms for the best-of-three first round that starts on Tuesday, while Texas will send Jordan Lyles (1-6, 7.08 ERA) to the mound.

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