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Rays, Astros lineups for ALDS Game 3

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The Rays scored two runs in Friday’s Game 1 and one run in Saturday’s Game 2. So, naturally, they’re going with the same lineup for this afternoon’s Game 3 against the Astros:

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

Not that anyone should criticize Kevin Cash for that, of course. This is his best lineup available. It just so happened that it was facing Justin freakin’ Verlander and Gerrit freakin’ Cole on Friday and Saturday and, really, whaddaya gonna do? The only real option is to run ’em out there again and hope they do better against Zack freakin’ Greinke. Good luck with that, fellas. Have fun stormin’ the castle. Charlie Morton will be on the mound to attempt to save the Rays’ season.

The Astros, meanwhile, are going with his group of fellas:

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

Kyle Tucker and Martin Maldonado got the start against lefty Blake Snell on Saturday, but Chirinos and Reddick are back against the righty Charlie Morton, as they were in against righty Tyler Glasnow on Friday.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.