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Lineups for NLCS Game 1

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Craig Counsell and Dave Roberts have announced their lineups for tonight’s NLCS opener. With lefties on the mound in the form of Clayton Kershaw and Gio Gonzalez, each manager has gone with his “hey, we’re facing a lefty” lineup.

For the Brewers that means that Hernan Perez starts at second base and Travis Shaw rides pine and the only lefties — Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas — are a couple of guys who would be in against anyones. For the Dodgers that means all righties except Cody Bellinger and Kershaw himself, with ChrisT aylor, Matt Kemp and David Freese starting and Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy on the bench. Not that we won’t see all of those guys at some point tonight, I reckon.

Dodgers

1. Chris Taylor (R) LF
2. Justin Turner (R) 3B
3. David Freese (R) 1B
4. Manny Machado (R) SS
5. Matt Kemp (R) RF
6. Enrique Hernandez (R) 2B
7. Cody Bellinger (L) CF
8. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
9. Clayton Kershaw (L) P

Brewers

1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
2. Christian Yelich (L) RF
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Jesus Aguilar (R) 1B
5. Hernan Perez (R) 2B
6. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
7. Manny Pina (R) C
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Gio Gonzalez (R) P

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).