On Deck: Los Angeles Angels

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 2016 season. 

The Opponent: The Angels have won six of their last 10 games, just like Texas, including a big sweep of the Royals, but they just took a massive blow to their already shaky bullpen.

Past 2016 Meetings: The teams split a four-game series at the beginning of the month out in Anaheim.

Pitching Matchups: Friday — Hector Santiago (2-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (1-0, 3.38); Saturday — Matt Shoemaker (1-3, 6.87) vs. Derek Holland (2-1, 3.13); Sunday — Garrett Richards (1-3, 2.35) vs. Cole Hamels (3-0, 2.52).

What's Hot: Outfielder Rafael Ortega (who?) is batting .421 over his last five games, and Mike Trout is doing Mike Trout things with a .375 with four home runs over his last seven games, in which he has nine RBIs. Garrett Richards allowed just one unearned run in his 6 2/3 innings last time out.

After a horrific start to his Rangers tenure, Ian Desmond is playing like an all-star again. In his last seven games, he's hitting .409 with a .519 on-base percentage. He has three homers and six RBIs in that span. In the last 11 2/3 innings of combined work between Jake Diekman, Phil Klein, Shawn Tolleson and Tom Wilhelmsen, they have given up six hits, no runs and have fanned 11 batters.

What's Not: Matt Shoemaker is looking to rebound from a rough outing in which he lasted just three innings and gave up seven runs on six hits. Albert Pujols is batting just .192 but does have three homers in his last seven games.

Sports Connection

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Rangers leadoff hitter Delino DeShields now has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats. Mitch Moreland was given a day off Wednesday and is mired in a 3-for-18 slump himself.

Familiar Faces: Former Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson is on the disabled list for the Angels, as is Josh Hamilton, who of course was a star for Texas, bombed in Anaheim and was sent back to Texas for pennies on the dollar. Former Rangers fan favorite Craig Gentry is now a backup outfielder with the Angels.

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