On Deck: Angels

NBC 5 News

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 likely a little hungover after clinching the AL West for the first time since 2009 after the Rangers swept away the A's in Oakland.

Past 2014 Meetings: The Rangers are a horrendous 3-13 against the Angels this year, and that's after the Rangers won the first series of the year against them back in May.

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Pitching Matchups: Friday — Lisalverto Bonilla (1-0, 4.66 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (5-8, 3.55); Saturday — Colby Lewis (10-13, 5.12) vs. Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50); Sunday — Nick Tepesch (5-10, 4.47) vs. Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.57).

What's Hot: Some surprising folks have been leading the Rangers' offensive surge over their six-game win streak. Jake Smolinski is batting .462 and hit his first big-league homer in his first game back from an extended stay on the DL. Catcher Robinson Chirinos is hitting .429 with three RBIs over the past four games. The Rangers' bullpen, with the exception of Alex Claudio, hasn't allowed a run in a week, and the starting rotation has been nearly as good in that time.

Weaver struck out 12 in seven innings of work his last time out while allowing just a lone run. Mike Trout is doing Mike Trout things, hitting .421 with two doubles, two homers, a triple and four RBIs in his last six games.

What's Not: In all honesty, other than Claudio, there isn't much in the way of bad. Everyone is hitting, and everyone is pitching well, which is why the Rangers have won a season-high six straight games.

Albert Pujols is hitting .167 in the last week, but despite just having three hits (only one extra-base hit) he leads the team in that span with six RBIs. Erick Aybar, who's tortured the Rangers this year, is batting .176 over the same span. Santiago was shelled his last time out, allowing three runs on five hits and five walks in just two innings.

Familiar Faces: C.J. Wilson is pitching well at the moment and preparing to return to the postseason for the first time since the 2011 World Series with the Rangers. Former Rangers slugger and AL MVP Josh Hamilton is back from a nagging injury that forced him out for many days in a row without a DL trip.

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