James Paxton
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Yankees, Astros lineups for ALCS Game 2

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The Yankees delivered a masterful performance in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, holding the Astros to just three hits in a 7-0 shutout. The win not only showcased Masahiro Tanaka at his finest, but broke a few postseason records thanks to Gleyber Torres‘ three-hit, five-RBI night.

On Sunday, the Yankees will try to stretch their one-game advantage to two games as they take on the Astros for what may be their last road game of the series. They’ll send southpaw James Paxton to the mound with the hope that he’ll be able to improve on the results he got in Game 1 of the ALDS: three runs, one walk, eight strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. The rest of the lineup appears nearly identical to the one the Astros faced on Saturday, save for the omission of Giancarlo Stanton:

  1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
  2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
  3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
  4. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
  5. Brett Gardner (L) CF
  6. Gary Sánchez (R) C
  7. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
  8. Cameron Maybin (R) LF
  9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS

P: James Paxton (LHP)

Still looking for their first win of the series, the Astros will pin their hopes on team ace Justin Verlander for Game 2. Verlander turned in a solid seven-inning effort at the start of the ALDS, but stumbled in his second outing, issuing four runs, three walks, and five strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings in a 4-1 Game 4 loss to the Rays. Like Paxton, he’ll be backed by a familiar-looking configuration:

  1. George Springer (R) RF
  2. Michael Brantley (L) LF
  3. José Altuve (R) 2B
  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. Jake Marisnick (R) CF

P: Justin Verlander (RHP)

Marisnick is the only new addition to the Astros’ lineup here; he’ll get the nod in center field for his first start of the 2019 postseason while Kyle Tucker moves to the bench.

Game 2 of the ALCS is set for 8:08 PM EDT.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.