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Dodgers, Braves lineups for Game 4

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The Dodgers and Braves get underway at 4:30 this afternoon. When they do, we’ll get a couple of wrinkles in the lineups.

Joc Pederson, rather than Chris Taylor, will get the start in left and leadoff. Max Muncy will likewise replace David Freese at first base and third in the batting order. Muncy actually got more plate appearances than Freese last night, but today he’s presumably in there for at least as long as Mike Foltynewicz is. Yasiel Puig likewise gets the start over Matt Kemp in right field, though he’ll be batting farther down in the order than Kemp did last night. Cody Bellinger and Enrique Hernandez will flip flop as well.

For Atlanta, Ozzie Albies moves up to the two-hole and Ender Inciarte is down in the seven slot. Tyler Flowers gets the start behind the dish over Kurt Suzuki.

The lineups:

Dodgers

1. Joc Pederson (L) LF
2. Justin Turner (R) 3B
3. Max Muncy (L) 1B
4. Manny Machado (R) SS
5. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
6. Enrique Hernandez (R) 2B
7. Cody Bellinger (L) CF
8. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
9. Rich Hill (L) P

Braves

1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (R) LF
2. Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
3. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
4. Nick Markakis (L) RF
5. Johan Camargo (S) 3B
6. Tyler Flowers (R) C
7. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
8. Charlie Culberson (R) SS
9. Mike Foltynewicz (R) P

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.