OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 03: Josh Donaldson #20 and Seth Smith #15 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by teammates after they both scored on an RBI two-run double from Coco Crisp #4 in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at O.co Coliseum on October 3, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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 Oakland A's spoiled the Texas Rangers' season last year, winning the AL West on the regular season's final day, but the Rangers are once again out to a scorching start with the best record in the bigs. The A's were slumping but have since won three straight against a solid Kansas City Royals club and come to Arlington just a week after dropping a series to the Rangers in Oakland.
Past 2013 Meetings: Last week, the Rangers took two of three in Oakland after dropping Game 1 of the series.
Pitching Matchups: Monday — Josh Lindblom (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (3-2, 4.56); Tuesday — Yu Darvish (7-1, 2.97) vs. Dan Straily (1-2, 7.27); Wednesday — Nick Tepesch (3-4, 3.98) vs. Jarrod Parker (2-5, 6.04)
What's Hot: After a bad start for the season's first month, there aren't many players in baseball hotter than Adrian Beltre right now, who had a four-hit night on Sunday with two doubles. He's now hitting .448 over his last seven games with a .500 on-base percentage. David Murphy is also turning things around after a rough start, as is Elvis Andrus, who seems to be thriving in the leadoff spot since Ian Kinsler went on the DL on Sunday.
For Oakland, Josh Donaldson has been the team's top hitter all year and that's continued lately as he's hitting .429 over his last six games, but no Oakland hitter is hotter than Eric Sogard, who's hitting .455 over his last five outings.
What's Not: Nelson Cruz is hitting .200 over his last seven games with two home runs but is still third on the team over that stretch behind the red-hot Mitch Moreland and Lance Berkman, while Ian Kinsler was really cooling off just before hitting the disabled list.
A reason for the A's recent cold streak has been the cold hitting of Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp, who came off the DL last week. Since then, he's hitting .077 while Cespedes is hitting just .217 in his last six games.
Familiar Faces: Rangers manager Ron Washington was a base coach for the Oakland A's for 11 seasons before landing the Rangers manager job prior to the 2007 season.