On Deck: Toronto Blue Jays

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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 Blue Jays are tied for third in a tightly-packed AL East, but have a better record than the Rangers thanks to Texas' ongoing five-game losing skid.

Past Meetings: The Rangers went 2-4 against the Blue Jays a year ago and have traditionally had a tough time in Toronto.

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Pitching Matchups: Friday — Nick Martinez (5-3, 2.77 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (7-4, 3.90); Saturday — Yovani Gallardo (6-6, 2.98) vs. TBD; Sunday — Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-2, 2.27) vs. TBD.

What's Hot: Over the last six games, despite playing with some bumps and bruises, Mitch Moreland is leading the Rangers with four RBIs and is hitting .318 with a homer. He basically provided all the offense in Thursday's loss to Oakland. Elvis Andrus is batting .300 over the last five games, including three doubles as he's starting to show his gap power. Gallardo hasn't allowed a run since his June 10 start when he gave up two runs over seven innings. In his last seven starts, he has a sub-2.00 ERA.

DH/catcher Dioner Navarro is hitting a red-hot .368 over the last six games with two long balls. Chris Colabello is hitting .357 over his last four games with a homer. Jose Bautista has two bombs and a team-high seven RBIs in the last week despite hitting just .238 over that stretch.

What's Not: Gonzalez had his first rough outing of his big-league career in his fifth start earlier this week. It came later than we thought it would, quite honestly, but he allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to Oakland. Keone Kela has suffered horribly recently, allowing four runs in his last 2 1/3 innings of work.

Rangers nemesis Josh Donaldson is enjoying an all-star season in his first year with the Blue Jays, but he enters the series with a .158 average and just one extra-base hit with no RBIs over the last week of play. Table setter Jose Reyes is hitting just .192 over his last six games.

Familiar Faces: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was a former failed starter with the Rangers in his pre-knuckleball days. Now, he's thrown together some pretty solid seasons with the little-used pitch, and he's currently doing it for the Blue Jays. Justin Smoak, who was the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle back in 2010, is still scuffling along but is now with Toronto.

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