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Astros and Dodgers keep same lineups for World Series Game 4

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Both the Astros’ and the Dodgers’ lineups are the same for Game 4 of the World Series as they were in Game 3. The two sides will do battle at 8 PM ET at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night.

Dodgers

CF Chris Taylor
SS Corey Seager
3B Justin Turner
1B Cody Bellinger
RF Yasiel Puig
2B Logan Forsythe
C Austin Barnes
DH Joc Pederson
LF Enrique Hernandez

SP Alex Wood

The Dodgers hope Bellinger is able to get back on track. His World Series struggles continued as he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts last night. He’s now hitless in 11 plate appearances in the series against the Astros.

Dodger hitters thus far are batting .161/.243/.376 in 93 at-bats against Astros pitching in the World Series.

Astros

CF George Springer
3B Alex Bregman
2B Jose Altuve
SS Carlos Correa
1B Yuli Gurriel
RF Josh Reddick
DH Evan Gattis
LF Marwin Gonzalez
C Brian McCann

SP Charlie Morton

Reddick was mired in a slump during the ALCS, going hitless in the first six games against the Yankees. He’s hit safely now in each of his last four playoff games, including a 2-for-4 performance against the Dodgers last night.

The Astros have had a lot more success at the plate than the Dodgers. To date, they’re collectively hitting .266/.319/.495 in 109 at-bats across the first three games of the World Series.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?