World Series Game 5 lineups: Rangers vs. Cardinals

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Here are the lineups for Game 5 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight:

   TEXAS RANGERS              ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B         1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Elvis Andrus, SS        2. Allen Craig, RF
3. Josh Hamilton, CF       3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Michael Young, DH       4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B       5. Lance Berkman, DH
6. Nelson Cruz, RF         6. David Freese, 3B
7. David Murphy, LF        7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Mike Napoli, C          8. Skip Schumaker, CF
9. Mitch Moreland, 1B      9. Nick Punto, 2B

SP C.J. Wilson, LHP        SP Chris Carpenter, RHP

That’s the same lineup Ron Washington used in Game 4, so he’s sticking with a struggling Mitch Moreland at first base and leaving Mike Napoli’s team-leading OPS in the eighth spot. In fact, among all hitters in baseball to play 100 or more games this season Napoli had the second-highest OPS behind only Jose Bautista. As we saw last night that’s one helluva eighth-place hitter, but it would also be one helluva cleanup hitter.

St. Louis, on the other hand, is shaking things up after being shut out in Game 4. Skip Schumaker, who missed the entire NLCS with an oblique injury and hasn’t started a game in the World Series, has replaced Jon Jay in center field. Jay is just 8-for-51 (.167) in the playoffs, including 0-for-14 in the World Series, but Schumaker is also a left-handed batter and has hit just .222 with a .560 OPS versus left-handed pitching during the past three seasons.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: