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 are sputtering, having won just three of their last 10 games and have fallen out of first place in the AL Central.

Past 2015 Meetings: The Rangers and Royals split a four-game set in Arlington last month.

Pitching Matchups: Friday — Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (4-3, 2.95); Saturday — Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 3.55) vs. Yordano Ventura (3-4, 4.26); Sunday — Colby Lewis (5-3, 4.48) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (4-3, 6.17).

What's Hot: A trio of Rangers rookies are all hot at the plate right now, as Delino DeShields, Hanser Alberto and Joey Gallo are all in a run of pretty great success right now. Gallo has played in three games — two against left-handed starters — and is batting .417 with a 1.500 OPS in that time thanks to two homers and a double. Throw out Tanner Scheppers and Ross Ohlendorf, and the Rangers' bullpen is sporting a 0.00 ERA over their last combined 16 innings.

The Royals' bats are collectively cold right now, which has led to their current slide. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is batting .300 over the last five games, and then there's a massive dropoff. As cold as the offense has been, the Royals' pitching is still pretty dang solid, especially in the bullpen.

What's Not: Elvis Andrus has been thrown all around the batting order thanks to injuries to Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton, and he's now hitting .158 over his last five games, even though the Rangers won both games in which Andrus was hitting fifth in the order.

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Mike Moustakas, who is one of the league's top hitters this year, is in a slump at the moment. He's batting just .188 in his last five games, making Kendrys Morales', Alex Gordon's and Eric Hosmer's .267 average during that time look good.

Familiar Faces: Volquez was once part of the much-hyped pitching prospect trio in the Rangers' system known as "DVD," as he was the "V" in the equation. Alex Rios, who spent a year and a half in Texas before the Rangers declined his option for this year, is back off the DL for the Royals but struggling at the moment.

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