ALDS Game 1 lineups: Athletics vs. Tigers

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source: AP

Here are the Athletics’ and Tigers’ lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS, which is set to begin around 6 p.m. ET:

   OAKLAND ATHLETICS         DETROIT TIGERS
1. Coco Crisp, CF                1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Stephen Drew, SS             2. Quintin Berry, LF
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF         3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Brandon Moss, 1B             4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Josh Reddick, RF              5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Josh Donaldson, 3B          6. Andy Dirks, RF
7. Seth Smith, DH                 7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Derek Norris, C               8. Alex Avila, C
9. Cliff Pennington, 2B        9. Omar Infante, 2B

SP Jarrod Parker, RH       SP Justin Verlander, RH

Bob Melvin is using a pretty standard lineup with right-hander Justin Verlander on the mound, including Brandon Moss at first base and Seth Smith out of the DH spot. The Tigers don’t have any lefties in their playoff rotation, so Chris Carter and Jonny Gomes will mostly be a factor against the bullpen. According to statistician David Feldman, the A’s will be the second team ever to start four rookies in a playoff game. The first was the 2007 Diamondbacks, who were also managed by Melvin. Not surprisingly, the A’s don’t have a ton of experience against Verlander. Coco Crisp is 8-22 (.364) lifetime against him while everyone else in the lineup has 49 at-bats combined.

No big surprises in the Tigers’ lineup, as Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks are in the corner outfield spots while Delmon Young will serve as the designated hitter. This is pretty much the same exact lineup Jim Leyland used over the final couple weeks of the season. Berry is primed to see a lot of at-bats during this series, despite posting a pretty terrible .218/.270/.293 batting line and 38/8 K/BB ratio in 162 plate appearances since the All-Star break. It goes without saying, but Berry and Young aren’t ideal options to have in the first five spots in the batting order. But if Verlander dominates, it might not matter.

Feel free to chat during the game in the comments section.

Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay lead newcomers on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot

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The Baseball Hall of Fame has released its ballot for 2019.

The newcomers to the ballot, two of whom I presume will be first-ballot inductees, include Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay:

  • Roy Halladay
  • Todd Helton
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Rick Ankiel
  • Jason Bay
  • Lance Berkman
  • Freddy Garcia
  • Jon Garland
  • Travis Hafner
  • Ted Lilly
  • Derek Lowe
  • Darren Oliver
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Juan Pierre
  • Placido Polanco
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Vernon Wells
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Michael Young

Given his PED associations — and the writers’ curious soft touch about them when it comes to him vs. other players who got caught up in that stuff — Pettite will be an interesting case which we will, without question, be talking about more between now and the end of January. There will be more than mere novelty votes thrown at Helton, Berkman, Tejada, Youkilis and Young, but I don’t suspect they’ll make it or even come particularly close. Everyone else will either be one-and-done or receive negligible or even non-existent support.

The holdovers from last year’s ballot, with vote percentage from 2018:

Edgar Martinez (70.4%)
Mike Mussina (63.5%)
Roger Clemens (57.3%)
Barry Bonds (56.4%)
Curt Schilling (51.2%)
Omar Vizquel (37.0%)
Larry Walker (34.1%)
Fred McGriff (23.2%)
Manny Ramirez (22.0%)
Jeff Kent (14.5%)
Gary Sheffield (11.1%)
Billy Wagner (11.1%)
Scott Rolen (10.2%)
Sammy Sosa (7.8%)
Andruw Jones (7.3%)

This is Edgar Martinez’s last year on the ballot. He’s so close to the 75% threshold that one hopes — and suspects — that he’ll get over the line in 2019, especially given that four guys were cleared off the ballot last year. It should be a move-ahead year for Mike Mussina too, who has suffered from criminally low support given his numbers and the era in which they came. That Jack Morris is now in should further strengthen his case given that he was a far, far better pitcher than Morris.

The rest of the candidates all either have long-discussed PED-associations that should prevent them from getting the required support, were too far out in vote totals last year to expect them to spring to 75% support in a single ballot or are Curt Schilling, who basically everyone hates.

Results of the voting will be revealed on January 22nd and, of course, we’ll be talking at length about this year’s ballot over the next two months. At the outset, though, I’ll go with a gut prediction: Rivera, Halladay, Martinez and Mussina will be inducted.

Your predictions start now.