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On Deck: Indians

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On Deck: Indians

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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: Both of these teams have struggled out of the gates in the second half, as the Indians have won just two of their six games post-break.

Past 2013 Meetings: Cleveland took two of three games against Texas back in June in the midst of that awful stretch of baseball that included a four-game sweep at home to Toronto.

Pitching Matchups: Friday — Martin Perez (3-3, 3.40 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.69); Saturday — Yu Darvish (9-4, 2.86) vs. Justin Masterson (11-7, 3.60); Sunday — Alexi Ogando (4-2, 2.93) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 4.49).

What's Hot: Over the last week, David Murphy and Elvis Andrus — possibly the two players worthy of the most blame for this year's offensive struggles — are starting to hit. If they can pick up their games at the plate and get a fresh start in the second half it could go a long way in helping the Rangers out. The two have combined to go 15-for-44 over the past seven games.

Michael Bourn, who the Rangers half-heartedly pursued in free agency this winter, is hitting .316 over the last week with a homer and six RBIs and Kluber, the Coppell native who the Rangers will face Friday, is coming off a scoreless, three-hit outing, albeit in just five innings of work.

What's Not: Three of the most consistent hitters for the Rangers throughout the season are all in the midst of cold streaks right now, which is a good reason they scored 10 runs in their four-game series agains the Yankees. Adrian Beltre (.214), Leonys Martin (.176) and Nelson Cruz (.174) are all scuffling at the plate since the break.

Jason Kipnis, one of the best hitting second basemen in the league is in a cold spell at the moment, hitting just .217 in the last six games.

Familiar Faces: Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

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