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Ideal Texas Rangers World Series Game 5 Lineup

As I said earlier, the Rangers need to shake some things up if they're going to bring this series back to San Francisco and eventually win it. This needs to start with Ron Washington creating the lineup. 

Vladimir Guerrero needs to be benched - even if it's just for a game (ideally longer). He's been a non-factor in the second half and in the World Series - going one for ten with a walk and four strikeouts. David Murphy should replace him.

Being one of Tim Lincecum's biggest fans, I try to watch as many starts of his that I can (thanks MLB.tv). Based off of nothing but my eyes, I would start Julio Borbon tonight. Lincecum is a power pitcher and relies heavily on the strikeout. Borbon is somebody who isn't going to really slug the ball all over the yard, but he's also not a guy that strikes out a ton - only 59 times in 438 at bats this year. I feel like Borbon is more apt to sit back and wait on Lincecum's changeup and flick it the other way for a single rather than swing through it trying to drive it for extra bases. I'm not much of a proponent of small ball or playing for speed and singles but I think in this case there's a valid reason to lean that way with one spot in the lineup.

Here's how I'd craft the lineup tonight if I were the Rangers manager.

Elvis Andrus, SS
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Josh Hamilton, LF
Nelson Cruz, RF
Michael Young, 3B
David Murphy, DH
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Bengie Molina, C
Julio Borbon, CF

The Rangers best four hitters should occupy the top spots in the lineup - plain and simple. There's no reason for Cruz to be hitting fifth - it's lunacy at this point. There's also no reason to have Young batting second and Guerrero batting fourth. Murhpy needs to play against the right handed Lincecum. 

This lineup with Borbon in the outfield also gives the Rangers their best defensive outfield possible. If Washington wants to swap Hamilton and Borbon because he prefers the stronger arm in center - that's fine - it's still a better defensive outfield than what they trot out.

I'm sure Washington will keep everything as is, bat Young second and Vlad fourth. Maybe it'll work out - but if it does, it won't be because Washington's gut was correct. The lineups he's put forth have handicapped the Rangers offense. Now with their backs up against the wall and facing Lincecum, they can't afford to have their lineup handcuffed.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.