On Deck: Kansas City Royals


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 Royals suddenly became the AL representative in the World Series last season and are one of the best teams in the American League again this season.

Past Meetings: The Rangers went 1-5 last season against the Royals, including a September sweep that was the second-to-last series of the Ron Washington era before his unexpected resignation.

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Pitching Matchups: Monday — Colby Lewis (2-2, 2.61 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (2-1, 4.55); Tuesday — Nick Martinez (2-0, 1.47) vs. Edinson Volquez (2-3, 2.65); Wednesday — Yovani Gallardo (2-5, 4.19) vs. Yordano Ventura (2-2, 5.13); Thursday — Ross Detwiler (0-4, 7.22) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 5.70)

What's Hot: Carlos Peguero is the hottest hitter in the Rangers' lineup, which is interesting because he's holding the position Josh Hamilton is expected to take whenever he finishes his rehab assignment in Round Rock. He's batting .333 over the last seven games with four home runs and seven RBIs. Adrian Beltre is finally coming out of his slumber, and is batting .300 with a homer over his last seven. Neftali Feliz is 3-for-3 on save chances over the last weeks with five strikeouts and no walks.

The Royals are getting good performances from their trio of young cornerstone bats in Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer, who are all batting well over .300 in the last six games. All-Star closer Greg Holland is back after starting the season on the DL and has converted his first two save chances of the season.

What's Not: Ross Detwiler followed up an encouraging start with another bad, Ross Detwiler-type start on Saturday. Ground balls are key for Detwiler, and he's had trouble inducing them other than in that start in Houston. Elvis Andrus was starting to turn the corner, but he's now batting just .214 over the team's last seven games.

Duffy got absolutely shelled in his last time out, allowing four runs on six hits in just one inning of work before getting yanked. Volquez and Ventura are also coming off rough outings in their last time out.

Familiar Faces: Volquez returns to Arlington, where he made his big-league debut as one of the top pitching prospects in recent memory for the Rangers and part of the vaunted "DVD" trio that included John Danks and some guy named Thomas Diamond, who never really made it. Two out of three isn't bad, but none of them had any impact with the Rangers. Also, former Rangers outfielder Alex Rios had his option for this season declined by the Rangers and went on to sign a deal with Kansas City.

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