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 have split their last 10 games but gave up nine runs to the Angels on Thursday night. Despite being the fourth-place team in the AL West and horribly disappointing this year, they've managed to own the Rangers this season.
Past 2015 Meetings: The Mariners have a 10-6 record against the Rangers this year, thanks in large part to Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Yovani Gallardo (12-10, 3.35 ERA) vs. James Paxton (3-4, 3.82); Saturday — Cole Hamels (3-1, 4.04, as Ranger) vs. Vidal Nuno (1-2, 3.21); Sunday — Derek Holland (3-2, 3.77) vs. Felix Hernandez (17-9, 3.55)
What's Hot: In his last seven games, Shin-Soo Choo is batting .500 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs to go with four walks. In that same time, Adrian Beltre is hitting .467 with two homers and nine RBIs and Prince Fielder (.400) has three homers and 10 RBIs. Reliever Keone Kela hasn't allowed a run in his last 13 1/3 innings, going back to his rejoining the Rangers on Aug. 11 after a designed demotion to Frisco for some rest.
Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte is pacing their offense at the moment, as he's hitting .350 with a double and an RBI over the past six games. Mariners lefty Vidal Nuno worked out of the bullpen this past week but got a spot start against the Rangers last time the teams met and shut them down.
What's Not: None of the Rangers' three starters this weekend are coming off particularly good outings, but none were worse than Gallardo, who allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings to snap a pretty solid streak he'd been on. Mitch Moreland is batting .174 in his last six games, but he has come up large with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in that span.
Mark Trumbo is hitting .100 with just two hits in his last six games. The Mariners have two Rangers killers in Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz, but neither are entering the series particularly hot as they're hitting .217 and .261, respectively, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them go off against the Rangers.
Familiar Faces: Adrian Beltre spent the five worst seasons of his career in Seattle and left the Mariners under somewhat bad terms and a bad reputation that he has resoundingly turned around in his five years with the Rangers. Nelson Cruz spent the majority of his career in Texas and was the ALCS MVP in 2011 before leaving for Baltimore via free agency in 2014 and then on to Seattle this year. He leads the league in home runs, just as he did last at the end of last season.