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On Deck: Toronto Blue Jays

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5 Sports

    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 Blue Jays welcome the Rangers for an ALDS rematch sporting a sub-.500 record, but that lineup is still as potent as ever.

    Past Meetings: The Blue Jays won last year's regular-season series 4-2 before coming back from down 2-0 in the ALDS to win in five games.

    Pitching Matchups: Monday — A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.52 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (1-3, 6.75); Tuesday — Martin Perez (1-2, 4.20) vs. Marco Estrada (1-2, 2.92); Wednesday — Colby Lewis (2-0, 3.19) vs. Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.59); Thursday — Derek Holland (3-1, 2.48) vs. J.A. Happ (3-0, 2.76)

    What's Hot: Rougned Odor, who took national prominence in the playoffs last year against the Blue Jays, is hot heading into Canada. He's batting .391 over his last six games with three doubles in Saturday's game and a homer earlier in the week. Mitch Moreland has gotten hot in the recent homestand after some bad struggles. He's hitting .353 in his last five games with a double, a homer and a team-high seven RBIs in that time. He also just missed another tape-measure shot that barely went foul on Sunday.

    The Jays don't have much going well at the plate right now, but over his last five games, center fielder Kevin Pillar, who killed the Rangers with his glove in the playoffs last year, is hitting .294 in that span. Aaron Sanchez tossed seven shutout innings his last time out.

    What's Not: Adrian Beltre has been great this year, but in his last six games he's hitting just .238, which is considered a pretty massive slump for him. Jake Diekman showed his bad side on Sunday when he allowed three runs on three hits and a walk while getting just two outs in the Angels' big eighth inning.

    R.A. Dickey gave up six runs in six innings his last time out on one of those days when the knuckleball just wasn't dancing. The Rangers will hope he has another one of those nights on Monday.

    Familiar Faces: Dickey, the veteran knuckleballer, began his career as a highly touted power arm in the Rangers' organization before his career fell apart and he took a few years down in the minors to develop the antiquated pitch. All he's done since was win an NL Cy Young Award with the Mets and beat the Rangers in an elimination game in the ALDS last year.