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Rays, Astros lineups for Game 1

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The first of our four games today involves the Rays of Tampa Bay and the Astros of Houston.

The Rays have changed things up a good bit from their Wild Card win over Oakland. Out is Avisaíl García, Wednesday’s right fielder. Austin Meadows takes right, Tommy Pham moves from DH to left, Yandy Díaz moves from first base to DH and Ji-Man Choi takes over at first. Got all that? Good:

1. Austin Meadows (L) RF
2. Tommy Pham (R) LF
3. Ji-Man Choi (L) 1B
4. Yandy Diaz (R) DH
5. Brandon Lowe (L) 2B
6. Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
7. Joey Wendle (L) 3B
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
9. Willy Adames (R) SS

P: Tyler Glasnow


The Astros are, well, the Astros. You’ve seen them enough the past few seasons that I don’t feel like any of this should shock you:

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
6. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
7. Carlos Correa (R) SS
8. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
9. Josh Reddick (L) RF

P: Justin Verlander

Exactly what you’d expect, of course. The Astros are a blunt instrument. They are not going to try to trick ya.

Nationals virtually unveil 2019 World Series rings

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On Sunday evening, the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals unveiled their championship rings online. The Nats took down the Astros in seven hard-fought games last October to win their first Fall Classic in franchise history, with starter Stephen Strasburg winning MVP honors.

As the video highlights about the ring, the Nationals honored “Baby Shark,” a children’s song that became part of the team’s identity last year thanks to reserve outfielder Gerardo Parra. The ring also has all kinds of mementos referencing the Nationals’ triumphs throughout the years, including a reference to 2006, when the Lerner family bought the franchise.

It is a shame that, due to the global pandemic, the Nationals haven’t been able to properly get their rings like past championship winners. But they will, in due time. For now, the players can look forward to receiving their rings in the mail.