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 playoff series during the 2015 season.
The Opponent: The Blue Jays are the prohibitive favorite in not only this series, but also to win the whole thing this year after making big splashes at the trade deadline by acquiring David Price and Troy Tulowitzki.
Past 2015 Meetings: The Blue Jays won four of six regular-season meetings against the Rangers, including one blown save from Shawn Tolleson and a Nick Martinez start. Both Rangers wins came in Yovani Gallardo starts.
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Pitching Matchups: Thursday — Yovani Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA) vs. David Price (9-1, 3.20); Friday — Cole Hamels (7-1, 3.66) vs. Marcus Stroman (4-0, 1.67).
What's Hot: Adrian Beltre was the AL Player of the Week for the final week of the season, and Shin-Soo Choo was the AL Player of the Month for September. That tells you about all you need to know about those two. Prince Fielder was also a huge run producer down the stretch. Cole Hamels tossed his first complete game as a Ranger in the division-clinching season finale on Sunday. Yovani Gallardo hasn't allowed a run in 13 2/3 innings against the hot-hitting Blue Jays this year.
Edwin Encarnacion has three homers in his past four games with a .400 batting average, and center fielder Kevin Pillar is batting .471 over the same span. Troy Tulowitzki, who rejoined the lineup after an injury recently, is batting .375 in his two games back.
What's Not: Mitch Moreland is batting just .182 with one RBI in his last five games, but not all of those were starts and he'll likely sit in Thursday's Game 1 with lefty Price on the mound and Mike Napoli's bat killing lefties. Rougned Odor hit .111 over the same amount of time, but did leave the yard once. Shawn Tolleson struggled horribly down the stretch, but part of that was the fact he worked in five straight games and should be fresh now.
David Price is 0-3 against the Rangers in his postseason career, and hasn't been very good against them in general, but he did score a win over the Rangers this year after the trade. Two of the Jays' biggest bats, noted Ranger killer Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, are hitting .235 and .167, respectively, in the last four games.
Familiar Faces: R.A. Dickey came up in the Rangers' organization, struggled and then reinvented himself as a knuckleballer before winning a Cy Young with the Mets and then cashing in with a big deal with the Blue Jays.