On Deck: Twins

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 2014 season. 

The Opponent: The Twins return home from the bay area after dropping three straight games to the San Francisco Giants to drop them one game under .500 on the season and into a tie for second place in the AL Central with the Kansas City Royals.

Past Meetings: The Rangers went 3-4 against the Twins last season, splitting a four-game set at Target Field, where the Rangers have traditionally had trouble.

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Pitching Matchups: Monday — Nick Tepesch (1-0, 3.09 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (2-5, 6.52); Tuesday — Yu Darvish (4-2, 2.35) vs. Phil Hughes (5-1, 3.15); Wednesday — Joe Saunders (0-1, 9.82) vs. Kyle Gibson (4-4, 4.68); Thursday — Nick Martinez (1-1, 2.14) vs. Samuel Deduno (1-3, 3.48)

What's Hot: The Rangers have gotten contributions up and down their lineup recently, but the two stalwarts that have stood out are veterans Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios. Over the last six games, Beltre is hitting .522 with two homers and six RBIs. Rios is hitting .429 with six RBIs of his own over that same span. Martinez has been fantastic in his short time as a starter, and his last outing was no different as he allowed just one run in six innings against perhaps the best lineup in baseball in Detroit.

An oldie but a goodie, Joe Mauer has been the Twins' best hitter over the last week, hitting for an even .300 average with a double and a triple. Hughes threw seven scoreless innings in his last outing.

What's Not: Aaron Poreda is falling out of the trust tree in the Rangers' bullpen, allowing two runs in his last two innings of work on four hits. Despite his home run on Sunday, Michael Choice is still scuffling and would still be best served playing every day in Round Rock. Leonys Martin is hitting just .235 over the last five games.

Gibson gave up five runs in five innings in his last outing. The league's leader in runs scored, Brian Dozier, is hitting just .200 over the last week

Familiar Faces: Scott Baker, who just lost his rotation spot he'd just earned to Joe Saunders, spent seven seasons with the Twins and won 63 games as a Twins starter. He'll serve as the Rangers' long man.

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