On Deck: All-Star Game

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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 (or exhibition game) during the 2014 season. 

The Opponent: The game pits the two league's all-stars against each other to decide whether the American League or National League will have homefield advantage in the World Series. Since we're in an American League park (Minneapolis' Target Field), we'll play with AL rules and a designated hitter.

Past Meetings: The National League leads the all-time series 43-39-2, with each league having long stretches of dominance, most recently by the AL, which went 12-0-1 over a 13-year stretch before the NL won three straight from 2010-2012. The AL won last year's game to give the Red Sox homefield in the World Series, which they won in six games.

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Pitching Matchups: American League: Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.12 ERA) vs. National League: Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83).

What's Hot: Well, theoretically, everyone is considering this is an all-star game. But your very own Texas Ranger, Adrian Beltre, might be one of the hottest players in baseball since June. He's now the league leader in batting average with a .337 batting average and could push for his first career 200-hit season after collecting 199 last year.

What's Not: Conversely, the other Ranger representative, Yu Darvish, will be looking to snap out of a recent funk by making his first all-star appearance after two previous nods without appearing in the games. Darvish is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in his last five starts, and that stretch includes an eight-inning, scoreless gem against the host Twins.

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