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 young Royals have won seven of their last 10 and have passed supposed juggernaut Detroit up in the AL Central standings.
Past 2014 Meetings: In an odd scheduling twist, the spring training bunkmates will play their only two series of the year in the final weeks of the season.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Colby Lewis (8-10, 5.52 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (9-9, 3.48); Saturday — Nick Tepesch (4-7, 4.15) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (9-10, 4.48); Sunday — Miles Mikolas (1-5, 7.48) vs. Jason Vargas (10-5, 3.17).
What's Hot: Leonys Martin continues to swing a hot bat, hitting .476 over the last six games with an RBI and two stolen bases. Adrian Beltre is also heating up again, batting .409 with a double and two RBIs in that same time. On the mound, Tepesch has been great since returning from knee soreness. He gave up two runs in seven innings of work his last time out.
The Royals' offense has been on a tear lately, thanks in large part to Alex Gordon, who's finally living up to his potential and is hitting .385 with a double, triple and two homers in his last seven games. Newly acquired Josh Willingham is also hitting well with a .348 average in that time and a team-high five RBIs. DH Billy Butler is breaking out of his season-long slump and is hitting .357 over the last week.
What's Not: Colby Lewis gave up five runs on 10 hits over six innings of work his last time out. Alex Rios is just 4-for-21 over his last six games, but he does lead the team over that span with five RBIs.
Ventura, the Royals' young rookie starter, hasn't been bad, but he's been the worst of the Royals' starters recently, and former Ranger Jason Frasor, who was traded prior to the July 31 deadline is struggling with a 7.71 ERA in his last three outings.
Familiar Faces: The aforementioned Frasor was acquired from the Rangers prior to the trade deadline to bolster the Royals' bullpen and prime them for a run at the AL Central crown. They've done that, but not so much with his help.