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Guardians going with a familiar lineup for Game 1 of AL Wild Card

Put down your pencils, the rosters are final

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

A little over two hours until first pitch, the Guardians roster is finally official for the AL Wild Card series against the Rays, and we have our first look at the lineup they will send out against lefty Shane McClanahan in Game 1.

  1. Steven Kwan, LF
  2. Amed Rosario, SS
  3. José Ramírez, 3B
  4. Oscar Gonzalez, RF
  5. Josh Naylor, 1B
  6. Owen Miller, DH
  7. Andrés Giménez, 2B
  8. Austin Hedges, C
  9. Myles Straw, CF

This is a familiar look for the Guards, the most notable thing being that Naylor gets the start at first base with Miller at designated hitter. Miller was tried out at first several times — some might say too many times — this season, but it clearly hasn’t worked out.

Batting Giménez so low in the lineup, let alone behind Miller, is a tactical mistake that Terry Francona has made all season long, so it’s not surprising that it’s happening in the postseason as well. Despite being one of the Guardians’ consistently great hitters this season, Giménez in a position to get fewer at-bats when they matter most. It is what it is at this point.

As for the rest of the roster, it appears both Will Brennan and Bo Naylor made the cut and will start on the bench. I would not be surprised to see Brennan, at least, getting a start somewhere tomorrow against the right-handed Tyler Glasnow, or whoever the Rays send out Sunday if Game 3 is necessary.

Being that the Wild Card is only three games long at most, Aaron Civale was left off the roster so he can be used to start early in the ALDS, if necessary. Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, and Cal Quantrill are slated to go for the three games for the Guardians.

The Rays will go with Yandy Díaz batting leadoff against Shane Bieber, followed by a dangerous young batter of their own — 21-year-old Wander Franco, who slashed .277/.328/.417 in 83 games this season.

  1. Yandy Díaz, 3B
  2. Wander Franco, SS
  3. Randy Arozarena, LF
  4. Harold Ramírez, DH
  5. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  6. Manuel Margot, RF
  7. Christian Bethancourt, C
  8. Taylor Walls, 2B
  9. Jose Siri, CF

All three games of the AL Wild Card will be broadcast on ESPN, with Game 1 starting today at 12:07 p.m. ET.