ALDS, Game 3: A’s-Tigers lineups

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Lineups for the first of four games (!) today …

Athletics:
CF Coco Crisp
3B Josh Donaldson
SS Jed Lowrie
1B Brandon Moss
LF Yoenis Cespedes
DH Seth Smith
RF Josh Reddick
C Stephen Vogt
2B Eric Sogard

SP Jarrod Parker

Oakland manager Bob Melvin is going with the same lineup he used in Game 2, except Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie have swapped places in the batting order. Donaldson hit second 23 times during the regular season, including frequently down the stretch, and Lowrie was actually the A’s most-used No. 3 hitter all year.

Tigers:
CF Austin Jackson
RF Torii Hunter
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder
DH Victor Martinez
LF Jhonny Peralta
C Alex Avila
2B Omar Infante
SS Jose Iglesias

SP Anibal Sanchez

In an effort to boost the offense Detroit manager Jim Leyland has decided to let Jhonny Peralta make his first start of the playoffs as a left fielder. Peralta was pushed out of the shortstop job during his 50-game suspension and worked out in left field to prepare for this scenario, appearing in three games as an outfielder late in September after previously never starting at a position other than shortstop or third base.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.