On Deck: Seattle Mariners

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: Thanks to the Rangers and a solid Indians team, the Mariners are just 4-6 in their last 10 games and are now sitting four games behind first-place Texas in the AL West heading into this three-game set.

Past 2016 Meetings: The Rangers are 6-3 against the Mariners this year after a sweep in Arlington last weekend.

Pitching Matchups: Friday — Derek Holland (5-4, 4.53 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (4-5, 4.13); Saturday — Colby Lewis (5-0, 3.20) vs. James Paxton (0-2, 3.72); Sunday — Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.32) vs. Wade Miley (6-2, 5.27).

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What's Hot: Nomar Mazara enters this series having gone 12-for-26 in his last seven games with a double, homer and four RBIs. Jurickson Profar is batting .423 in the same span with a double, triple and homer, and Ian Desmond is batting .400 over that time with a team-leading five RBIs.

Mariners catcher Chris Ianetta, who has given the Rangers fits dating back to his days with the Angels, is batting .500 in his last five games with two homers and four RBIs. In his last seven games, Robinson Cano is batting .333 with two homers of his own. Nelson Cruz has four homers and seven RBIs in his last seven games despite just a .214 batting average.

What's Not: Elvis Andrus is in the depths of a slump for really the first time this season as he's hitting .167 in his last seven games. Adrian Beltre is hitting .208 in his last six games and has a hamstring strain that, at least not yet, hasn't landed him on the DL.

Noted Ranger killer Kyle Seager is hitting just .192 in his last seven games.

Familiar Faces: The Mariners have the big, feared bat of Nelson Cruz in the heart of their lineup after he spent years (many good ones) in Texas before going to Baltimore for a year and then Seattle last season. Leonys Martin and Tom Wilhelmsen swapped spots this winter. Wilhelmsen was recently called up from Triple-A Round Rock after trying to figure things out while Martin has been one of Seattle's best players, but he's currently on the disabled list. Former Rangers prospect Luis Sardinas is getting regular time at second base for the Mariners. Adrian Beltre spent a handful of subpar seasons in Seattle, and Shin-Soo Choo began his career as a Mariner.

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