On Deck: Houston Astros

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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 Astros are surging, having won an incredible 10 straight games, and look to be living up to the hype about a year or two early as they have a comfortable lead in the AL West a month into the season.

Past 2015 Meetings: The Astros played the Rangers to open up the home schedule in Arlington and left DFW with a series win, taking two of the three games.

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Pitching Matchups: Monday — Ross Detwiler (0-3, 8.66 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.73); Tuesday — Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 4.82) vs. Scott Feldman (2-2, 4.31); Wednesday — Colby Lewis (1-2, 3.00) vs. Samuel Dedundo (0-0, 2.70).

What's Hot: In his first four games as a Ranger, Kyle Blanks is already tied for the team lead with two homers. In his four games, Blanks has hit .333 with four RBIs and the two bombs. Prince Fielder continues to be hot, batting .348 over his last six games with a homer and two doubles. After a really shaky start, 21-year-old reliever Keone Kela has now gone three straight outings without allowing an earned run and has given up just three hit in that time.

The Astros lineup is on a tear, and it all starts with the reigning AL batting champ Jose Altuve. The pint-sized second baseman is hitting .467 with eight RBIs over his last seven games. Young outfielder Jake Marisnick is right behind him, batting .417 with a homer and four RBIs. Dallas native Evan Gattis had a big two-homer day on Sunday, and he's knocked in 12 runs over the last week with the help of five home runs.

What's Not: After a great start to the season, Shawn Tolleson has fallen on hard times in recent outings, and he's really struggled over the last week, allowing four runs on four hits in his last 1 2/3 innings of work. Rougned Odor had the big walkoff single on Saturday, but the young second baseman has struggled all year and is batting just .167 over the last six games.

Slugger Chris Carter is batting just .182 over the last week, but two of his four hits have left the yard. Closer Luke Gregerson is 2-for-2 on save opportunities this week, but he has allowed three runs on three hits in his last four innings of work.

Familiar Faces: There is a lot here, starting in the front office for the Astros with everyone's favorite "all the success was because of him" Lone Star legend Nolan Ryan. Tuesday's game will feature a pitching matchup of guys going against their former teams in Rodriguez and Feldman.

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