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 new-look Padres haven't really lived up to their preseason hype after former Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller took over as GM and revamped the roster with big names. They've won just two of their last 10 games.
Past Meetings: Back in 2012, the Rangers swept a three-game series in San Diego.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.84 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 4.23); Saturday — James Shields (7-3, 3.88) vs. Colby Lewis (8-4, 4.83); Sunday — Yovani Gallardo (7-7, 2.67) vs. Tyson Ross (5-7, 3.56).
What's Hot: This is a bit like April was, but Prince Fielder is really the only red-hot bat the Rangers have right now, as he's hitting .375 over his last six games to go with a double and a home run. Rougned Odor leads the way with five RBIs over that six-game span. The Rangers' much-maligned and overworked bullpen is going pretty well right now, with the exception of Spencer Patton, as far as the back-end guys are concerned.
Second baseman Jedd Gyorko is the Padres' hottest hitter coming in, and he's batting just .333 over the last seven games. Other than that, no one is hitting better than .250 over the last week. James Shields is coming off an outing which saw him toss seven innings with just one unearned run allowed.
What's Not: Colby Lewis had another stinker of an outing — something he'll do from time to time — when he allowed 10 earned runs in four innings of work in his last start against the Angels. Wandy Rodriguez, who's struggled at home all year, gave up five runs in five innings his last time out. Shin-Soo Choo is batting .176 over his last six games, but does have three RBIs, which is second-most on the roster in that time.
Justin Upton started the season on a tear but has cooled recently. The former Rangers free agency target is batting just .150 over his past five games with eight strikeouts. Matt Kemp, another new Padre, is batting .217 in his last seven games.
Familiar Faces: A.J. Preller took over the reins of the Padres' franchise late last season after they fired their GM. Preller spent several years as the right-hand man to Rangers GM Jon Daniels and was a pivotal figure in building the Rangers' best teams in franchise history.