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Astros tab Lance McCullers for Game 3, Charlie Morton for Game 4

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The Astros have the rest of their rotation set through the first four games of the World Series. Right-hander Lance McCullers will take on Yu Darvish in Game 3 when the series moves to Houston and fellow righty Charlie Morton will kick off Game 4. The Dodgers have yet to officially confirm their rotation beyond Game 3, though Alex Wood is presumably in line for Saturday’s gig.

McCullers, 23, has made just one start so far this postseason. He looked solid on the mound, holding the Yankees to just one run in six innings during Game 4 of the ALCS, but was done in by a shaky performance from the bullpen that allowed New York to take a 6-4 lead for the win. In relief, however, McCullers has been even better. He dismantled any chance the Yankees had of reclaiming the pennant in Game 7, firing 24 straight curveballs en route to a four-inning save.

Morton, 33, was in the driver’s seat for the Astros’ last must-win playoff game. He staved off a Game 7 loss in the ALCS with five innings of two-hit, five-strikeout ball, combining with McCullers for a three-hit shutout to eliminate the Yankees. He boasts a sterling postseason record at home, with just two runs allowed in 9 1/3 innings, but hasn’t been so hot on the road. He was shelled in Game 3 of the ALCS, scattering seven runs on six hits and two walks before he was forced off the mound in the fourth inning. Thankfully for the Astros, that will likely be Morton’s last appearance outside of Minute Maid Park this fall.

Should the rotation extend past four games, as the Astros hope it will, they’ll send Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander and McCullers out for Games 5 through 7. Right now, though, they just have to split the series on the road. Verlander will be on the hill tonight against Dodgers’ lefty Rich Hill at 8:00 PM ET.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays in part of three-team deal

Tampa Bay Rays
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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.