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 Blue Jays have slumped and fallen from first place in the AL East to four games behind Baltimore after winning just two of their last 10 games.
Past 2014 Meetings: Back in May, the Blue Jays took two of three from Texas in Arlington.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Yu Darvish (8-5, 2.97 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (7-9, 3.82); Saturday — Colby Lewis (6-6, 6.54) vs. Marcus Stroman (4-2, 4.05); Sunday — Nick Tepesch (3-5, 4.31) vs. Mark Beuhrle (10-6, 2.64)
What's Hot: Over the last three games leading up to the break, Alex Rios hit .455 with two doubles and three RBIs. Rookie second baseman Rougned Odor hit .364 with a double and a triple. Recent call-up Roman Mendez has been stellar in the bullpen as he has run his scoreless inning streak up to 5 2/3 to start his big-league career.
Jose Reyes is hitting .385 over the last three games for Toronto, while the core of the Blue Jays' bullpen has allowed just one hit in that time.
What's Not: Colby Lewis is coming off the worst outing of his career and the worst outing in Rangers history when he gave up 13 runs (11 earned) on 15 hits in less than three innings against the Angels. Robinson Chirinos, Leonys Martin and Shin-Soo Choo have combined to go just 1-for-29 over the last three games with Martin collecting the only hit.
Dickey and Beuhrle are both coming off so-so outings, and the Blue Jays, who bash the ball out of the yard at an alarming rate, have not hit a homer over their past three games.
Familiar Faces: J.P. Arencibia is rejoining the Rangers in Toronto, where he played before coming to Texas this season. Rios also spent a good chunk of his career with the Blue Jays, while Dickey started his career in Texas before failing, discovering the knuckleball and becoming a Cy Young winner.