Nick Markakis makes doubles history with Hall of Famers Tris Speaker and Joe Medwick

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Last night Nick Markakis became just the third player in baseball history to hit 43 or more doubles in four consecutive seasons, joining a pair of Hall of Famers from the first half of the 20th century in Tris Speaker and Joe Medwick.
Making the cutoff 43 doubles is obviously kind of arbitrary and in doing so the Baltimore Sun meant to frame the feat around Markakis, but the larger point is that he’s hit a whole bunch of doubles.
Markakis’ home run power hasn’t developed as much as hoped, as his long ball total has gone from 23 to 20 to 18 to 10 since 2007, but he has more doubles than anyone in baseball during that four-year span and remains one of the league’s better all-around outfielders thanks to a good glove and strong on-base skills.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.