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 2014 season.
The Opponent: The Twins are hurting to Ranger levels, but they're on a skid of their own after losing three straight games and falling to eight games out of first place in the AL Central.
Past 2014 Meetings: The Rangers went on that pivotal season-long road trip to close out May, including a trip to Minneapolis and took three of four from the Twins, which was basically the last time the Rangers did much of anything in the way of positive.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Nick Tepesch (2-3, 4.38 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (4-8, 5.02); Saturday — Yu Darvish (7-4, 2.62) vs. Phil Hughes (8-3, 3.40); Sunday — Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.94) vs. Kyle Gibson (6-6, 3.92).
What's Hot: In an ongoing theme, Adrian Beltre is still hot, as bad as this team is going right now. The veteran third baseman is hitting .500 over his last six games with two doubles and three RBIs. Leonys Martin is still doing well in the leadoff spot, as he's hitting .350 over his last six with four doubles. Shawn Tolleson is one of the few Rangers' pitchers having success right now. He's allowed one run in his last four innings (three games) and that came on a homer.
Veteran Joe Mauer is on a nice little run at the plate, as the first baseman is hitting .400 over his last six games with a team-high seven RBIs in that span with four doubles. Correia gave up one earned run in six innings in his last start to pick up a win.
What's Not: This list is really too long. Even the one constant of this team, other than perhaps Beltre, Yu Darvish has struggled in his last few starts. The Rangers have seven regulars hitting under .200 over the past week, as the team has dropped eight straight games.
Hughes and Gibson are each coming off rough outings their last time out. Hughes gave up five runs on eight hits over five innings but actually picked up a win in his last start, and Gibson fell apart allowing seven runs in just two innings of work in his previous start.
Familiar Faces: Scott Baker, who likely won't be available this weekend after tossing 6 1/3 innings of relief on Thursday, played much of his career with the Twins as a starter.