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On Deck: Angels

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5 News

    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 Angels are having a bounce-back year after a few really disappointing seasons and are within striking distance of the first-place A's in the AL West — four games up on the Rangers.

    Past 2014 Meetings: The Rangers took two of three games against the Halos in Anaheim to kick off their May schedule.

    Pitching Matchups: Friday — Joe Saunders (0-2, 3.46 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (6-2, 2.87); Saturday — Nick Martinez (1-4, 4.44) vs. TBD; Sunday — Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.39) vs. TBD.

    What's Hot: Robinson Chirinos is hitting .400 in his last four starts behind the plate, and 21-year-old infielder Luis Sardinas has a seven-game hit streak going in games he's started. Elvis Andrus is the hottest everyday player in the lineup right now, as he's 9-for-26 with two doubles in his last six games. Joe Saunders has been the Rangers' second-best starter since coming off the DL and went six innings in his last outing while allowing just two runs.

    You have to just tip your hat in awe when it comes to Mike Trout. The Angels' young phenom is hitting .500 over the last five games with five doubles and four home runs. He's driven in nine runs in that time and has three stolen bases. He's simply electrifying. Albert Pujols has seven RBIs in the last five games with one homer.

    What's Not: Darvish is coming off one of his worst starts of the season against — no surprise — the A's. The Rangers' ace continued his horrible streak against Oakland when he allowed seven runs on eight hits in five innings on Tuesday. Adrian Beltre is hitting .174 over the last six games, but he does lead the team with six RBIs in that span.

    Two big Rangers' nemeses, Josh Hamilton and David Freese, are disliked around here for different reasons, but both are struggling for the Angels right now. Hamilton is hitting .208 in the last five games with one RBI, and Freese is hitting .200 in that same span with just four hits — all singles.

    Familiar Faces: The Rangers missed Josh Hamilton in their meeting last month, but he's back from the DL now. Luckily for him, he won't have to deal with the boos in Arlington until next month.