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 Mariners' new look lineup isn't producing much yet, and the result is a start that actually has them in last place after the first week and a half of the season. It's not what anyone expected, but luckily for them, it's still early.
Past Meetings: The Rangers actually won the season series over the Mariners — a rarity in 2014 — edging them 10-9 on the year.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 5.59 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (0-0, 2.84); Saturday — Colby Lewis (1-0, 3.38) vs. Felix Hernandez (1-0, 3.00); Sunday — Ross Detwiler (0-2, 9.00) vs. James Paxton (0-1, 5.11).
What's Hot: Prince Fielder is the team's leading hitter so far this season, even though he's yet to find his power stroke. The hefty first baseman is batting .433 with a .469 on-base percentage over his past seven games. Outfielder Carlos Peguero is batting .385 with an astronomical .556 on-base percentage thanks to his four walks in five games. Aside from the surprising Nick Martinez, Lewis has been the Rangers' best starter so far, which is more than concerning.
Nelson Cruz is providing the offensive punch he was signed for this offseason, but it's not resulting in wins yet. The former Ranger is batting .391 over his past six games. Over that time he has SIX home runs and nine RBIs.
What's Not: Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin are batting .161 and .100, respectively, over their last seven games. That's obviously not going to cut it, and manager Jeff Banister has already moved Martin out of the leadoff spot and Andrus into the bottom third of the order. Detwiler has just been bad as a starter, struggling to get through the opponent's lineup more than twice.
Robinson Cano is batting just .192 over his past six games and had one of the bigger blunders you'll see on Wednesday night when he was on third base with a runner at second and first base empty. The batter walked, and Cano started jogging home before he was tagged out. Oops.
Familiar Faces: Peguero has been one of the few bright spots so far this season for the Rangers, and Mariners fans will remember him as a promising prospect who never took off in Seattle. Now, it appears he could be a late bloomer for the Rangers at age 28. Another late bloomer was Nelson Cruz, who is now two years removed from the Rangers and enjoying a good start in his first season with the Mariners after he led the league in home runs last year with Baltimore.