On Deck: Seattle Mariners

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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 Mariners took two of three games from the first-place Astros in Houston, then went on to a less impressive sweep of the A's and are winners of five straight games.

Past 2015 Meetings: The Rangers are 4-8 against the Mariners this year with their only series win over Seattle coming in Arlington.

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Pitching Matchups: Monday — Yovani Gallardo (11-9, 3.27 ERA) vs. Roenis Elias (4-7, 4.35); Tuesday — Cole Hamels (2-1, 3.89, as Ranger) vs. Taijuan Walker (10-7, 4.51); Wednesday — Martin Perez (2-4, 5.07) vs. TBD; Thursday — Derek Holland (3-1, 2.37) vs. Felix Hernandez (16-8, 3.65).

What's Hot: Shin-Soo Choo has been the Rangers' best offensive player since the all-star break, and he was one of the few Rangers hitting the ball in their series loss in Anaheim over the weekend. Choo hit .364 with a .500 on-base percentage, two doubles and a triple. He's also drawn six walks in that six-game span. Elvis Andrus, the Rangers' second-best hitter since the break, is hitting .350 with a .417 OBP in that same stretch with two RBIs and three stolen bases. Derek Holland gave up one run in eight innings his last time out, scoring the Rangers' only win in Anaheim.

Just what the Rangers wanted to see: A red-hot Kyle Seager awaiting them for four games. Seager is one of the most noted Ranger killers in baseball and enters this series batting .476 with three doubles and a homer with six RBIs in his last six games. Logan Morrison has been even hotter, hitting .467 in that same time with three bombs and 10 RBIs. King Felix, who's dominated Texas this year, worked eight innings with nine strikeouts his last time out.

What's Not: Several prominent bats went cold in the Rangers' first two stops on their West Coast swing in San Diego and Anaheim. Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Rougned Odor and Delino DeShields are all hitting at .200 or worse in the last week. Joey Gallo has yet to record a hit in his return and has fanned six times in seven at-bats.

Nelson Cruz has turned into a Ranger killer this year in the teams' first 12 meetings of the year, but he enters this series in a cold spell, hitting just .167 in the last week, but he's only played three games during that time due to an issue with his always problematic quadriceps.

Familiar Faces: Nelson Cruz, who would be a runaway MVP candidate this year if not for the fact he played for an awful Mariners team, spent the majority of his career with the Rangers before leaving via free agency in 2014 on a one-year deal with Baltimore and signing with Seattle this past winter on a longer-term deal. Rangers veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre spent five seasons in Seattle — the five worst years of his career, at least before what could match those down years in 2015.

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