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 2014 season.
The Opponent: The Los Angeles Angels hit a milestone on Wednesday, pulling above .500 for the first time since Opening Day 2013. Let that sink in for a moment. Now they get a Rangers team that owned them in 2013 with payback on their minds.
Past Meetings: The Rangers were 14-4 against the Angels last season.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Colby Lewis (1-1, 4.60 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (0-4, 4.44); Saturday — Matt Harrison (0-0, 3.00) vs. Garrett Richards (2-0, 2.53); Sunday — Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.59) vs. Tyler Skaggs (2-0, 3.34)
What's Hot: Not much after that stinker of a series against the A's, but the lineup's sole bright spots have been Alex Rios, Leonys Martin and Robinson Chirinos, who are all hitting .333 over the last week. Matt Harrison had a nice season debut over the weekend in Seattle, giving up two runs in six innings in his first start in more than a year.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar is hitting .400 with a homer and a team-high six RBIs over the last week, while Mike Trout is just doing what Mike Trout does. He's hitting .350 over the last week with a double, triple and homer to go with four RBIs. Skaggs and Richards each went seven innings in their previous start and took no-decisions with strong outings.
What's Not: The list is long, but the main culprits offensively have been Prince Fielder, who had the worst month of his career in April, and Elvis Andrus, who's currently in a 3-for-36 skid and had two errors on Wednesday, including a devastating one that turned a three-run inning into much, much more. Darvish is coming off the shortest, and probably worst, outing of his career and will look to bounce back Sunday.
Santiago went 4 1/3 innings in his last outing and allowed six hits and four runs. JB Shuck, who took Josh Hamilton's place in left field, is just 2-for-24 over the last week, and Raul Ibanez isn't faring much better.
Familiar Faces: The Rangers won't see either of their old friends Josh Hamilton or C.J. Wilson. Wilson picked up the win on Wednesday night for the Angels to pull them above .500 and just a half-game back of Texas for second in the AL West. Hamilton is on the disabled list, because, why not?