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 2016 season.
The Opponent: The Astros have won 11 of their 13 games to creep within two games of .500 — just to show how awful that start was.
Past 2016 Meetings: The Rangers are 6-0 against the Astros this year and have won 10 straight against their Silver Boot rival.
Pitching Matchups: Monday — Mike Fiers (3-3, 4.84 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (5-0, 3.09); Tuesday — Dallas Keuchel (3-7, 5.50) vs. Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.39); Wednesday — Doug Fister (5-3, 3.51) vs. Yu Darvish (2-0, 3.38); Thursday — Collin McHugh (5-4, 4.97)) vs. Martin Perez (4-4, 3.24).
What's Hot: Houston's young shortstop, Carlos Correa, is batting .414 with a double, three triples and seven RBIs in his last seven games. Another youngster, George Springer, is batting .406 with three doubles and two homers to go with eight RBIs in his last seven. Evan Gattis hasn't hit a ton, but when he's connected, it's counted. He has four homers and 10 RBIs in his last six games. Doug Fister worked six scoreless innings his last time out.
Ryan Rua is starting to carve out some significant playing time, as he's hitting .429 in his last four games with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs. Rougned Odor has three hits in his two games back from serving his seven-game suspension, and Jurickson Profar has 16 hits in his first nine games. Colby Lewis threw six scoreless innings his last time and tossed a scoreless outing his last time out against Houston, too.
What's Not: Embattled closer Luke Gregerson has lost his job after blowing two saves this past week. The hated Colby Rasmus is hitting .217 in his last five games.
Prince Fielder has one hit in his last 15 at-bats and has sat the past two games in favor of Profar. Mitch Moreland has two hits in his last 22 at-bats and the Rangers could be moving toward a Moreland/Fielder platoon.
Familiar Faces: Former Rangers folk hero and front office man Nolan Ryan is now in the Astros' front office after a fairly contentious split from the Rangers. Former Rangers' opening day starter Scott Feldman is now an Astro, and of course Delino DeShields was a Rule 5 steal from the Astros but he's trying to work things out in Triple-A Round Rock now.