On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Rangers series during the 2013 season.
The Opponent: The Angels come to town in a bad way, but the Rangers are in a worse slump right now coming off a sweep at the hands of the Indians and a scoreless-inning streak approaching 30 innings now. Something has to give.
Past 2013 Meetings: The Rangers have won four of the teams' six meetings, but they haven't met on the field since April.
Pitching Matchups: Monday — Matt Garza (7-1, 2.87 ERA/1-0, 0.00 as Ranger) vs. Jered Weaver (5-5, 2.98); Tuesday — Derek Holland (8-6, 3.06) vs. C.J. Wilson (11-6, 3.18); Wednesday — Martin Perez (3-3, 4.37) vs. Jerome Williams (5-7, 4.85).
What's Hot: It's never a great sign for an offense when your two leading regulars over a week's time are Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin. That could explain the Rangers' scoring drought over the weekend as both of those guys are the table-setters. They just aren't being cashed in by the money guys in the lineup. Andrus is in the midst of a nice hitting streak and now has his average up to .250, which speaks to how poorly his season has gone thus far. As we know, as bad as the offense has been, the Rangers' pitching has been just about that good — starters and relievers.
Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout are about the only guys hitting for the Angels right now, and boy, the Rangers would love to be able to say that. Trumbo is 11-for-28 with a homer and four RBIs in his last seven games, and Trout is hitting .321 with a homer and five RBIs in that same span. Two of the pitchers the Rangers will face to start this season — Weaver and Wilson — have been pitching tremendously for a while now, specifically Wilson, who is 7-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his previous eight starts. The Rangers will be looking to bounce back offensively against a couple of pretty good arms.
What's Not: Robbie Ross is back into a skid after a stellar first half of the season that started to trend downward just before the break, giving up three more runs on Sunday. Offensively, the list is too long to list here. Ian Kinsler is hitting under .200 since the break, yet leads the team in RBIs over that time. Mitch Moreland is still struggling terribly and would be out of a job if the Rangers had any better options at first base.
The Angels' bullpen, a long-standing issue for the club, has lived up to its paper, struggling in a big way recently. If the Rangers can get Weaver's and Wilson's pitch counts up and get to that bullpen, they could be in business. Oh, and Josh Hamilton? He's still bad. The former Ranger is hitting .205 with a laughable .234 on-base percentage in July after it seemed like he was poised to bust out of a season-long streak in June.
Familiar Faces: While the Orioles are Rangers East, the Angels could stake claim to being Rangers West with Wilson and Hamilton, two players who had worn out their welcome with the Rangers and were signed to big-money deals by the Angels. Wilson's has paid off nicely. Hamilton's? Not so much.