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 Astros have already locked up the Silver Boot and had a season of unprecedented success against the Rangers. But unlike the Rangers, the Astros are still playing pretty badly.
Past 2014 Meetings: The Silver Boot was locked up for Houston long ago, as the Astros hold an 11-5 season advantage over Texas.
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Pitching Matchups: Monday — Derek Holland (1-0, 0.99 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (1-1, 2.70); Tuesday — Nick Martinez (4-11, 4.85) vs. Brett Oberholtzer (5-12, 4.39); Wednesday — Lisalverto Bonilla (2-0, 4.30) vs. Scott Feldman (8-11, 3.82)
What's Hot: Look at Ryan Rua! The youngster is showing he can be a part of the 2015 roster picture, and he's closing the season on a red-hot note. In his last five games, he's batting .429 and his ninth-inning homer on Sunday gave the Rangers the lead to win the series in Anaheim with his first big-league home run. Adrian Beltre is also picking it back up heading into the final homestand of the season, batting .391 with five doubles and four RBIs in his last six games.
What's Not: Elvis Andrus is hitting .227 over his last five games, and he's about the only Rangers regular struggling at the plate right now as the Rangers' offense has suddenly come to life over the last 10 games, in which the Rangers are 8-2. Colby Lewis wasn't good on Saturday, giving up seven earned runs in five innings. Other than him, the Rangers' pitching staff is going well.
Familiar Faces: There's of course Nolan Ryan, who's working in the Astros' front office now after his bitter departure from the Rangers last October. Scott Feldman is one of the Astros' top starting pitchers after serving as a valuable reliever/spot starter for the Rangers' World Series teams.