Phillies vs Rangers: Five questions to ask going into the series

Jul 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff (48) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff (48) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels speaks with the media after being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels speaks with the media after being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas is playing sub-.500 baseball going into the Phillies arrival this week

Interleague play continues for the Phillies with their first opportunity to use the designated hitter on the road. Texas has seen a rough start to the 2017 season, losing several of their major pieces to injury.

One loss was Cole Hamels, who’ll miss the opportunity to face his former team after landing on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Reliever Jake Diekman, who went to Texas with Hamels in the blockbuster trade, is also out for several months with ulcerative colitis.

Carlos Gomez, Adrian Beltre, and Shin-Soo Choo are also unlikely to play during the three-game series. Beltre is on the disabled list with a calf strain and Gomez is out for multiple weeks with a hamstring injury. Choo could return during the series but is currently nursing a back injury.

Despite the early struggles and injuries the Rangers still have a potent lineup filled with power and experience. Prospect Joey Gallo is finally hitting his stride, smashing 12 home runs, but leading baseball with 57 strikeouts. Rougned Odor, Mike Napoli, and Jonathan Lucroy continue to threaten pitchers with their bats, combining to hit 15 home runs.

Here’re five things to know going into the Phillies series in Arlington.

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