Jose Altuve

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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.