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On Deck: Houston Astros



    On Deck: Houston Astros

    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 2015 season. 

    The Opponent: The Astros come to town a day after being one-hit by the Indians on Thursday — that one hit coming in the bottom of the ninth. The Astros' pitching has actually been pretty good through these first three games, but the bats have been dormant.

    Past Meetings: The Astros won the season series against the Rangers for the first time in seemingly ages last year and finished ahead of Texas in the AL West standings. The Astros won the season series 11-8 last year.

    Pitching Matchups: Friday — Collin McHugh (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (0-0, 0.00); Saturday — Roberto Hernandez (0-0, 0.00) vs. Yovani Gallardo (0-1, 9.00); Sunday — Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 0.00) vs. Colby Lewis (1-0, 1.50).

    What's Hot: Prince Fielder has just one extra-base hit in four games — a double — but he's the team's leading hitter with a .333 batting average after the opening four-game set in Oakland. He's also tied for the team lead with three RBIs. After three games without a homer, the Rangers managed four on Thursday afternoon — Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland, Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo. Colby Lewis had a great outing in his season debut in a park that has been friendly to him throughout his career, but now we'll see how he fares when he pitches in Arlington for the first time this year.

    Like the Rangers, the Astros have just one regular batting over .300 through the season's first series, as Jed Lowrie is batting .333 with a homer. Keuchel was stellar in his first outing of the year, going seven innings and allowing just three hits and no runs.

    What's Not: Yovani Gallardo was awful in his Rangers debut on Opening Night, and they'll need him to be much better on Saturday to give them a chance to win while also preserving the bullpen by eating up some innings. Elvis Andrus and Beltre are both hoping for some home cooking this weekend as they each went 2-for-16 over the four-game set in Oakland.

    The Astros have scored just three runs this season — an average of one per game. Last season's AL batting champion Jose Altuve is just 1-for-11 through three games this year and will look to heat up in Arlington.

    Familiar Faces: Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. had an infield single in Wednesday night's debacle after making the team out of spring training as a former Astros prospect who was taken in December's Rule 5 Draft by the Rangers. The Rangers will miss Astros pitcher Scott Feldman, who spent several years in Texas as both a starter and reliever.