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Astros will start Justin Verlander on short rest in ALDS Game 4

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The Rays kept their playoff hopes alive by shellacking the Astros in Game 3 of the ALDS by a 10-3 margin. It’s still an uphill battle for the Rays but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the Astros will start Justin Verlander in Game 4. Verlander started Game 1, so he’ll be on three days’ rest. The veteran right-hander was terrific against the Rays, holding them scoreless on one hit and three walks with eight strikeouts over eight innings.

MLB.com’s Juan Toribio reports the Rays will go with a bullpen day, starting reliever Diego Castillo. Castillo could go more than one inning, something he did in 15 of his 65 relief appearances during the regular season.

If the Rays are able to overcome Verlander, they will almost certainly have to face Gerrit Cole in a decisive Game 5.

Josh Reddick says he and his Astros teammates have received death threats

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Yesterday Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers. In the course of the interview, Fiers revealed that he has received death threats for blowing the whistle on the Astros’ cheating. Rob Manfred said last week, before the interview came out, that Major League Baseball would do everything in its power to protect Fiers and his family both when the A’s play in Houston and when they play anyplace else.

Manfred’s pledge of protection is going to need to be expanded, because today the guys on whom Fiers blew the whistle are saying they’ve received death threats as well.

At least Josh Reddick is saying it:

It’s obviously disgraceful for anyone to have to endure this sort of crap. People need to get a grip.