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Game 3 lineups: With no DH, Howie Kendrick and Yordan Álvarez ride pine

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When the World Series moves to the National League park the National League team tends to have an advantage given the lack of the designated hitter. It’s not as big of an advantage as it used to be given that not as many teams in the American League have guys who are full-time DHs as there used to be, thus they may not always lose a big bat or be forced to compromise team defense to keep it in the lineup, but the NL teams are far more used to dealing with the whole deal.

The Astros have been a bit more traditional as far as that goes this year. Yordan Álvarez played in 87 games during his rookie campaign and he DH’d in 74 of them. There’s a reason for that: he’s not a very good outfielder. Certainly not as good as Josh Reddick or Michael Brantley. So, with Games 3, 4 and, potentially, 5 to be played in an NL Park, A.J. Hinch had a decision to make. Lose Álvarez’s bat or risk putting him in an outfield corner.

He has decided to leave Álvarez on the pine. Which, given that Álvarez has been pretty cold in the postseason, hitting just .213/.288/.277, I suppose it’s not that big of a loss.

Here’s the Astros lineup:

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

For the Nationals, the decision was a bit easier. Yes, Howie Kendrick has a better bat than Asdrúbal Cabrera, but with a series lead, Cabrera’s superior glove at second base is preferable. And, for what it’s worth, manager Dave Martinez cited Cabrera’s superior numbers against Astros starter Zack Greinke:

1. Trea Turner (R) SS
2. Adam Eaton (L) RF
3. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
4. Juan Soto (L) LF
5. Asdrúbal Cabrera (S) 2B
6. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
7. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
8. Víctor Robles (R) CF
9. Aníbal Sánchez (R) P

Game time is 8:07 Eastern.

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.