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 2015 season.
The Opponent: The Orioles are in a massive tailspin after contending for the AL East and Wild Card chases for much of the year. Now, they've won just two of their last 10 games and are eight games out in the East and 2 1/2 games out of the Wild Card running.
Past 2015 Meetings: The Rangers took three of four games in Baltimore earlier this summer and now will look to secure a season series win with one more victory.
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Pitching Matchups: Friday — Cole Hamels (1-1, 4.73 ERA, with Rangers) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-5, 4.30); Saturday — Martin Perez (1-3, 5.30) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (9-8, 4.26); Sunday — Derek Holland (1-1, 4.73) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (9-10, 4.78).
What's Hot: Elvis Andrus has been fantastic for a couple of months now, and over his past six games, he's batting .400 with a .979 OPS and has three doubles in that time. Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo are each hitting .318 over that same time. Keone Kela has been fantastic in the last week, putting up 3 2/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one walk while allowing just one hit.
There isn't much to talk about with the Orioles during this recent skid, but one bright spot has been Gausman, who fired seven innings while allowing just two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts his last time out.
What's Not: With the emergence of Kela, Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson, Sam Freeman has fallen out of favor a bit and hasn't pitched much in high leverage situations. Over the past week, he's worked just one inning and allowed two runs on four walks and no hits. Mitch Moreland is hitting just .188 over his last four games.
Former Ranger Chris Davis carried the Orioles after the all-star break into a Wild Card spot with a tremendous few weeks. Now, he's cooled dramatically. Over his last seven games he has just three hits, including a double and a homer. Manny Machado and Adam Jones are both barely hitting above .200 in that same span, which helps explains the Orioles' woes.
Familiar Faces: Davis was a big-time power prospect for the Rangers but could never figure things out in Arlington and struck out way too much. He still strikes out, but he's also managed to be a lock for 30-plus home runs in recent years with Baltimore and put together an MVP-caliber campaign in 2013. Reliever Darren O'Day was an all-star reliever this year after spending more than a season in Texas during the Rangers' World Series run. Of course, Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter managed the Rangers before they turned to Ron Washington in 2007.