On Deck: Detroit Tigers


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 Tigers, in their stripped down state minus David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, are coming off two straight wins at Wrigley Field and are still within striking distance at 4 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card spot.

Past Meetings: This is the teams' first meeting this year, but the Rangers went 2-4 against Detroit a year ago.

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Pitching Matchups: Thursday — Martin Perez (1-2, 5.29 ERA) vs. Alfredo Simon (10-7, 4.84); Friday — Colby Lewis (13-5, 4.49) vs. Justin Verlander (1-5, 4.11); Saturday — Yovani Gallardo (9-9, 3.39) vs. Matt Boyd (1-1, 5.00); Sunday — Cole Hamels (0-1, 5.23) vs. Anibal Sanchez (10-10, 4.99)

What's Hot: Mike Napoli has just nine at-bats in his last five games, two of which were starts, but he has four hits in those nine at-bats with a double and a long, long homer on Wednesday afternoon. In his last seven games, Beltre is hitting .393 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. Mitch Moreland is batting .391 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs in that same span. In the last 20 innings, the Rangers' "winning bullpen" has allowed just one run.

Miguel Cabrera is wasting no time getting back into a groove since coming off the disabled list, as he's batting .400 over his last five games with three doubles, a homer and four RBIs. The Tigers' offense is scorching, as middle infielders Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler are a combined .391 with four doubles, a homer and four RBIs. Justin Verlander is coming off his best outing of the year after tossing seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.

What's Not: The Rangers' once-hot catching duo has cooled at the plate, as Chris Gimenez and Bobby Wilson have combined for just four hits in their last 21 at-bats.

Matt Boyd gave up six runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings his last time out, and Anibal Sanchez lasted just 2 1/3 innings his last time out.

Familiar Faces: The Rangers and Tigers swapped superstars prior to the 2014 season when they traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler straight up, with cash involved, in a rare trade of established veterans. Neftali Feliz, the former star closer for the Rangers and 2010 AL Rookie of the Year fell out of favor this year and was DFA'd. He was plucked up the Tigers. 

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