On Deck: Athletics

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 Oakland Athletics have been awful this season, but despite their poor record they're playing some pretty good baseball right now, having won six of their last 10 despite losing three straight at Fenway Park.

Past 2015 Meetings: The A's have taken four of seven meetings thus far, with the teams splitting a four-game set to open the season back in April at O.co Coliseum.

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Pitching Matchups: Tuesday — Nick Martinez (4-2, 2.89 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (7-2, 1.65); Wednesday — Yovani Gallardo (5-6, 3.54) vs. Jesse Hahn (3-5, 3.51); Thursday — Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-0, 0.00) vs. Scott Kazmir (2-4, 3.14).

What's Hot: Mitch Moreland continues to swing a hot bat, as he's batting .391 with a 1.047 OPS, a double, a homer and three RBIs in his last six games. Leonys Martin has turned things around from a really rough stretch and is now hitting .333 with four RBIs in his last six games and is hitting everything solidly right now. Chi Chi Gonzalez has now worked 14 2/3 innings in his big-league career and still hasn't allowed a run, including a complete-game shutout on Friday night in Kansas City in just his second MLB start.

A's third baseman Brett Lawrie is batting .474 with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs over the last six games, and he's joined by red-hot outfielder Mark Canha, who's hitting .429 with a homer and three RBIs in that same time. Sonny Gray, who's owned the Rangers and nearly no-hit them on Opening Day, is coming off an eight-inning outing in which he fanned seven and allowed just two hits.

What's Not: Nick Martinez is coming off his first bad outing of the year against the Chicago White Sox, and he'll look to bounce back Tuesday. The righty still has a sub-3.00 ERA but gave up seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings his last time out.

The A's have five regulars hitting at .200 or worse, including two hitting below .100, over the last week's games. Closer Tyler Clippard has given up three runs on four hits over two innings for an ERA of 13.50 over the last week.

Familiar Faces: Rangers utility infielder Adam Rosales famously played musical chairs between the Rangers and A's a couple of years ago, going back and forth a few times over a two-week span through waiver claims before eventually sticking with Texas. Ron Washington, the all-time leader in managerial wins in Rangers franchise history resigned in September due to personal issues but now is a defensive instructor for the A's.

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