On Deck: Angels

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 Angels are still chugging along despite losing their ace last month, and now they have a comfortable lead in the AL West and sport baseball's best record.

Past 2014 Meetings: The Rangers are just 3-10 against the Angels after owning them over the past few seasons.

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Pitching Matchups: Tuesday — Colby Lewis (9-12, 5.42 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.46); Wednesday — Nick Tepesch (4-9, 4.41) vs. Matt Shoemaker (14-4, 3.25); Thursday — Scott Baker (3-4, 5.52) vs. TBA.

What's Hot: Leonys Martin is having a strong finish to the season, which is great news for 2015. In his last seven games, he's batting .370 with four stolen bases, but the success goes far beyond just seven games. He's been hot now for a month, batting .365 over the last 27 games. Twenty-year-old second baseman Rougned Odor is hitting .350 with a triple and a homer in his last seven games.

Howie Kendrick is red-hot right now, batting .440 with six extra-base hits in his last six games. Noted Rangers nemesis David Freese is hitting .412 over his last five games, but he has just one RBI in that time.

What's Not: After a couple of good starts, Scott Baker's last starting effort didn't go well. He allowed five runs on four hits and 4 1/3 innings. In his last six games, shortstop Elvis Andrus is batting just .200, and now you have to wonder how he'll respond after his mentor Ron Washington's resignation.

Shoemaker and Santiago both turned in subpar outings their last time out as neither lasted past five innings allowed seven runs combined. Mike Trout is batting just .200 over his last six games, but he does have a home run and five RBIs.

Familiar Faces: The Rangers won't face former pitcher C.J. Wilson, and Josh Hamilton has been scratched regularly lately with various "Josh Hamilton" health issues, but give him credit, when he's played, he's been pretty good.

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