On Deck: Oakland Athletics

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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 Athletics aren't Ranger bad, but they aren't too good, either. They'd lost five of their last six games heading into Thursday afternoon's series finale with the Angels and were swept by the Astros over the weekend. They aren't Rangers under-.500, but they're still under .500.

Past 2015 Meetings: The Rangers and A's split the season's opening series, each winning two games, in Oakland.

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Pitching Matchups: Friday — Colby Lewis (1-2, 3.75 ERA) vs. Scott Kazmir (2-0, 0.99); Saturday — Nick Martinez (2-0, 0.35) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 4.50); Sunday — Yovani Gallardo (2-3, 4.05) vs. Sonny Gray (3-0, 1.98).

What's Hot: Elvis Andrus is riding a six-game hitting streak and is batting .348 with a .400 on-base percentage over his last six games. Nick Martinez had yet another scoreless outing over the weekend in Anaheim, and reliever Stolmy Pimentel has gone 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run.

Since returning from the disabled list, Josh Reddick has been scorching in the A's lineup. In his last six games, he's batting .471 with a homer and seven RBIs. Shortstop Marcus Semien is batting .400 over that same time. Scott Kazmir is coming off seven scoreless innings, while Sonny Gray went eight innings in his last start and allowed two runs. Remember, Gray nearly no-hit the Rangers on Opening Night.

What's Not: Pretty much the entire Rangers lineup falls into this category. Four regulars are hitting under .200 over the last six games, but no one is worse off right now than Shin-Soo Choo, who is batting a cool .000 over that stretch and has a grand total of five hits this season — in 16 games.

The A's bullpen has struggled. Luckily for them, they have a solid starting rotation. Big offseason acquisition in DH Billy Butler is batting just .087 in the last week.

Familiar Faces: Adam Rosales, if you remember, bounced back and forth between the A's and Rangers a couple of years ago before finally settling in with the Rangers as a utility infielder and archnemesis of @Tepper. Craig Gentry, a former Rangers fan favorite, is struggling as the A's fourth outfielder and is batting just .182 over the past week.

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