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 Astros are already 11 games out of first place in the otherwise jumbled AL West and have the worst record in baseball.
Past 2014 Meetings: The Rangers are 2-1 so far against Houston this year and both of those wins were of the 1-0 variety.
Pitching Matchups: Monday — Colby Lewis (2-2, 6.12 ERA) vs. Brad Peacock (0-3, 5.01); Tuesday — Matt Harrison (1-0, 2.87) vs. Dallas Keuchel (3-2, 3.68); Wednesday — Nick Tepesch (0-0, n/a) vs. Scott Feldman (2-1, 1.93)
What's Hot: Mitch Moreland has continued his hot streak, now he's just looking for consistent at-bats. He's 6-for-11 over his last seven games, with most of those coming in pinch-hit opportunities. Over those 11 at-bats, he has three RBIs. Elvis Andrus has recovered from his slump, apparently. He's been moved back to the 2-hole and is hitting .433 over his last seven games with four doubles. Harrison turned in a scoreless outing in his last time out, but it only lasted 5 1/3 innings as he walked four.
Matt Dominguez, a noted Rangers killer, is hitting well over the last week against teams that don't have a T on their caps. He's hitting .321 with a homer in last seven games. Keuchel gave up two runs in 7 2/3 innings in his last outing.
What's Not: Colby Lewis gave up 12 hits and seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings in his last outing. He'll need to do much better than that on Monday, but gets a minor-league quality Astros lineup to attack. Adrian Beltre has found his power stroke, but not much else. He's hitting just .185 over his last seven games, though two of his five hits were homers.
The Astros have five regulars hitting under .250 in the last week — four of those under .200. The Rangers pitchers have to attack them and make them swing the bat, because when they do, it ends in the other teams' favor more often than not.
Familiar Faces: Scott Feldman, the Rangers' ace, was a good arm for the Rangers, winning 17 games in 2009 and also serving as a solid reliever from time to time. Of course, former Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan is now working in a front-office role for the Astros and will surely be in attendance for these three games.