The Texas Rangers are set to start the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles today at 12:03 CT. In near simultaneous press releases, the Rangers have announced not only their active roster for the series, but also their lineup for Game 1. The roster is nearly the exact same as the ALWC, with only one exception. Rookie left-handed pitcher Cody Bradford will take the place of fellow rookie, right-handed pitcher Grant Anderson.
It could be presumed that this roster decision was made primarily due to the large number of left-handed hitters that Baltimore likes to deploy. That is part of the reason that manager Bruce Bochy has decided to go with Andrew Heaney as the Game 1 starter and not the right-handed Dane Dunning.
Max Scherzer left off ALDS roster
The one player that was left off of the ALDS roster that fans were hoping would make it, is Max Scherzer. It is not surprising that he will not be available quite yet, but everyone was hoping that he would somehow make the list. After throwing live BP yesterday, it will be crucial to see how he feels today and how quickly his body is able to recover. Perhaps if the Rangers advance to the ALCS, Scherzer will be on that roster.
Texas Rangers set lineup for Game 1 of ALDS
Texas also released their lineup for today's contest with Baltimore. All of the players and defensive positions will be the same as in the previous two ALWC games against Tampa Bay, but the batting order has been adjusted quite a bit. Interestingly, the changes don't involve the third spot in the order.
It appears that Bochy didn't get the memo, that Robbie Grossman doesn't need to be batting third in this lineup and will double down on the switch-hitting DH to be Corey Seagers protection. It is a curious move, but Bochy has three more rings than most of us, so we will have to trust his intuition.
The big adjustment in the lineup, is the movement of Evan Carter from hitting in the nine hole, to being moved all the way up to the five spot. A move of Carter was expected after his electric ALWC performance, it was just a matter of where his landing spot was going to be.
To accommodate his move up in the order, Nathaniel Lowe will be moving from the five hole down to the seventh spot in the order. This is quite a fall from grace for Lowe who sat in the third spot in the lineup for most of the season, but has struggled mightily down the stretch. He did record two hits in the ALWC and it will be nice to have some serious power at the bottom third of the order.
With the roster set, and the lineup in, it is nearing time to get between the lines and see how things shakeout. Game 1 of the ALDS is fast approaching. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!