NLCS, Game 4: Mets vs. Cubs lineups

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Here are the Mets and Cubs lineups for Game 4 of the NLCS in Chicago:

METS:
RF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
2B Daniel Murphy
CF Yoenis Cespedes
1B Lucas Duda
C Travis d'Arnaud
LF Michael Conforto
SS Wilmer Flores
SP Steven Matz

Mets manager Terry Collins is sticking with the same lineup as Game 3, which means Juan Lagares on the bench and rookie Michael Conforto in the lineup. Left-hander Steven Matz will make his second postseason start after allowing three runs in five innings against the Dodgers in the NLDS.

CUBS:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jorge Soler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Starlin Castro
LF Kyle Schwarber
SS Javier Baez
SP Jason Hammel
C David Ross

With a left-hander on the mound Cubs manager Joe Maddon has swapped Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber in the batting order. Javier Baez moves up to the seventh spot and David Ross, not Miguel Montero, gets the start at catcher while batting behind the pitcher.

Report: Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians have either traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers or are on the verge of doing so. Jon Heyman says the deal is done. Others are reporting that it’s close. It is not clear yet what the Indians will be receiving in return in what seems like an inevitable transaction.

Kluber made only seven starts this past year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Those were freak injuries that do not suggest long-term problems, however, so there’s a good reason to think he’ll bounce back to useful form, even if it’s a tough ask for him to return to the form that won him the 2014 and 2017 Cy Young Award.

Before his injury-wracked 2019 campaign, Kluber pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons so mileage could be an issue. For his career he’s 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), a 2.99 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1,461/292 over 1,341.2 innings in nine big league seasons.

Unless there is cash coming from Cleveland in the deal, the Rangers will be paying him $17.5 million this year and a 2021 option of $14 million pursuant to the five-year, $38.5 million contract he inked with Cleveland before the 2015 season.