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ALDS Game 3: Lineups

Per RotoInfo.

Rangers vs. LHP David Price

  1. Ian Kinsler - 2B
  2. Elvis Andrus - SS
  3. Josh Hamilton - LF
  4. Michael Young - DH
  5. Adrian Beltre - 3B
  6. Mike Napoli - C
  7. Nelson Cruz - RF
  8. Mitch Moreland - 1B
  9. Craig Gentry - CF

Rays vs. RHP Colby Lewis

  1. Desmond Jennings - LF
  2. B.J. Upton - CF
  3. Evan Longoria - 3B
  4. Matt Joyce - RF
  5. Johnny Damon - DH
  6. Ben Zobrist - 2B
  7. Casey Kotchman - 1B
  8. John Jaso - C
  9. Reid Brignac - SS

Clearly, Ron Washington has changed his mind about Hamilton's mental state being affected by changing his position game-to-game. After some miscues by both players in game one, Gentry will be starting in center with Hamilton in left.

While that makes a ton of sense, benching Yorvit Torrealba in favor of Moreland with a lefty on the mound does not so much. There may be some defensive advantage with Moreland over Young in the field, but it is likely outweighed by the severe difference between the two at hitting left handed pitching.

Joe Maddon, meanwhile, is playing the platoon splits, though the result is still a lineup that favors Lewis well. Jaso and Brignac, lefties, are both improvements over Kelly Shoppach and Sean Rodriguez when a righty is on the mound, but both are still fairly poor even with their platoon advantages, and are a step down from the lineup the Rays have had the past two games.

Meanwhile, most of the Rays big-boppers struggle (relatively) against righties, which has resulted in a below average performance against RHP as a team this year for Tampa. Even switch-hitting  Ben Zobrist -- who Maddon elected to move down the lineup a bit -- is weaker against righties. The combination of lefties Joyce and Damon will pose a middle of the order threat for Lewis, but it will also be a good set-up for bullpen use late in the game for Mike Maddux. The Rays lineup, coupled with the homer-supressing Tropicana Field, makes Colby Lewis a better bet on paper than his 4.40 ERA this season suggests.

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