Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the ALCS tonight:
NEW YORK YANKEES TEXAS RANGERS
1. Derek Jeter, SS 1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Nick Swisher, RF 2. Michael Young, 3B
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B 3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B 4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
5. Robinson Cano, 2B 5. Nelson Cruz, LF
6. Marcus Thames, DH 6. Ian Kinsler, 2B
7. Jorge Posada, C 7. Jeff Francoeur, RF
8. Curtis Granderson, CF 8. Matt Treanor, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF 9. Jorge Cantu, 1B
That’s the same lineup the Yankees used against left-handed starters Francisco Liriano and Brian Duensing in their ALDS sweep of the Twins. Marcus Thames gets the nod over Lance Berkman at designated hitter, with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner both in the lineup against a lefty while Austin Kearns rides the bench.
Rangers manager Ron Washington is turning back to Jorge Cantu after he sat out Game 5 of the ALDS against left-hander David Price. Matt Treanor draws the start behind the plate over Bengie Molina because he’s essentially C.J. Wilson’s personal catcher.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.