Turnaround in Oakland: The Rangers were 2-7 at O.Com Coliseum last year, so it wasn't just the last series of the regular season that cost them the American League West. It was the Rangers' fewest wins in Oakland since 2003 when they were 1-8. The problem was the Ranger's offense. They averaged less than three runs a game in the nine games in Oakland. The A's outscored them 48-26.
Donaldson is hot: The A's have been slumping, but not third baseman Josh Donaldson. He is batting .352 with eight doubles, three home runs, 17 RBIs and 13 walks in his last 20 games. Donaldson has been batting mostly in the middle of the lineup and was the cleanup hitter in Sunday's loss to Cleveland.
A's fade: The A's started red hot, winning 12 of their first 16 games and briefly taking the American League West lead. They've faded since, going 7-16 in their last 23 games. They just went 3-7 on a road trip that included the controversial loss Wednesday night in Cleveland when umpires reviewed an apparent home run and incorrectly ruled it a double. The home run by Adam Rosales would have tied the score at 4.
A's throw righties: Oakland throws three right-handers at the Rangers, with A.J. Griffin, Bartolo Colon and Dan Straily getting the ball in the series. That means three games with David Murphy in left field. He is getting hot and is on a three-game hitting streak, batting .350 with two home runs to get his batting average to .202.
One-run warriors: The Rangers are 8-2 in one-run games, winning their last four since a 4-3 loss at the Los Angeles Angels on April 23. The A's are 5-6 in one-run games. Seven of the 19 games played between Texas and Oakland last season were one-run games. The Rangers had a 3-4 record.