Pouliot's Keys to Game 1

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*Cliff Lee needs to work deep into the game in order to match CC Sabathia.
The Phillies will likely have to rely a great deal on their pen during Games 2 and 3, so it’s important that Lee provide them with at least seven strong innings. The chances of Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre giving the Phillies quality work in the middle innings will decrease the more than the Yankees get to see them.
*The Yankees will work the count and try to get into middle relief.
The Bombers know they have a big advantage in the later innings, even if Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain aren’t giving them quite what they hoped in setup roles yet. If they can knock Lee out after six, they’ll get to the soft underbelly of this Phillies team.
*Jimmy Rollins has to start something for Phillies.
Rollins is hitting just .244/.279/.317 in the postseason, but he tends to come around once he reaches base. In 11 career at-bats against Sabathia, he’s collected four hits, including a triple and two doubles.

Rangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.

Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.

Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.