Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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: The White Sox have been cooked for quite a while and have parted ways with many of their assets, including new Ranger Alex Rios.
Past 2013 Meetings: The White Sox took two of three from the Rangers as the calendar turned to May. A lot has changed since then, for both teams.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Martin Perez (6-3, 3.48 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (9-11, 2.78); Saturday — Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68) vs. Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27); Sunday — Matt Garza (9-2, 3.81/3-1, 4.32 as Ranger) vs. John Danks (3-10, 4.22)
What's Hot: This spot should just be renamed the "Adrian Beltre update." The Rangers' leader is just staying hot since winning July Player of the Month honors. He's hitting .450 with a homer and five RBIs over the last week. Ian Kinsler (.333) is starting to get on the right track again over that time and also has five RBIs, as do A.J. Pierzynski and Elvis Andrus.
Avisail Garcia, who has replaced Alex Rios in right field for the White Sox is hitting .375 over his last six games, and Cuban import Dayan Viciedo has two homers and nine RBIs to go with a .333 average over the last week. Danks is coming off an outing which saw him throw eight scoreless innings while scattering seven hits.
What's Not: Matt Garza's numbers look worse than he's actually pitched, but he's still in a bit of a slump, giving up five runs over 6 2/3 innings in the Rangers' 16-5 win over the Astros. But then again, it's hard to stay focused when you lead by 12 runs in the third inning. Mitch Moreland and Jurickson Profar are cold at the plate, each hitting right around .200 over the last week.
Alejandro De Aza, who was rumored to be another Rangers target (depending on what you believe) has been awful as of late, hitting just .192 over the last week.
Familiar Faces: Well, the most famous relationship here is White Sox manager Robin Ventura and Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, who of course had the famous encounter back in 1993 when Ryan plunked Ventura and the young Ventura charged the mound against the living legend, who was in his 40s at the time and put a whippin' on Ventura. There's also Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who has endeared himself to Rangers fans by hitting .279 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs on the season while providing some swagger and attitude. He spent eight seasons prior to this one with the White Sox and won a World Series in Chi-Town. He was teammates there with Alex Rios, who was dealt to the Rangers a couple of weeks ago to help alleviate the loss to Nelson Cruz. Danks was a huge pitching prospect for the Rangers before Jon Daniels dealt him to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy.