For the first time since May 15 the Mets will have David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran in the lineup together, with Wright coming off the disabled list after missing the past 58 games with a stress fracture in his lower back.
And they may not have more a week together, with Beltran seemingly increasingly likely to be traded by July 31.
Wright was having the worst season of his career before the injury, hitting just .226 with six homers and a .741 OPS in 39 games, but he went 10-for-21 (.476) with three doubles, six walks, and a 1.212 OPS while rehabbing in the minors.
He was a No. 3 hitter for all 39 games prior to the DL stint, but returns as the Mets’ cleanup hitter and will bat behind Beltran. Daniel Murphy was the primary fill in for Wright at third base, but will now shift across the diamond to first base and sub for the injured Ike Davis.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.