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Astros-Rays ALDS Game 4 open thread

The Rays look to force a Game 5 in their ALDS against the Astros. They turn to an opener.

Divisional Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros - Game One
Justin Verlander, who’s pretty good, is pitching tonight.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The real drama of the Division Series is set for tomorrow night when both of the National League matchups play out a fifth and final game to settle things. The American League can’t quite match that, or at least not unless the Rays beat the Astros tonight to force a Game 5 on Thursday.

Game 4 of this series starts out interesting just by virtue of Houston turning to Justin Verlander on short rest. A legendary start by him here would only burnish his already-sterling reputation.

Meanwhile, the Rays will go on with the crazy plan that got them here, with opener Diego Castillo giving way to any number of Rays relievers, depending on how the score shakes out and how great the need is. It’s certainly a different approach than what tradition would dictate. That doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it different.

Astros lineup

  1. George Springer - CF
  2. Michael Brantley - LF
  3. José Altuve - 2B
  4. Alex Bregman - 3B
  5. Yordan Álvarez - DH
  6. Yuli Gurriel - 1B
  7. Carlos Correa - SS
  8. Josh Reddick - RF
  9. Robinson Chirinos - C

If the Astros win, they move on to the ALCS against the Yankees. That’s it. That would be a titanic clash between two 100-win teams. The Yankees already dispatched another 100-game winner in the Twins, but they won 100 in the AL Central so that almost doesn’t even count.

Rays lineup

  1. Austin Meadows - LF
  2. Tommy Pham - DH
  3. Ji-Man Choi - 1B
  4. Avisaíl García - RF
  5. Brandon Lowe - 2B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud - C
  7. Joey Wendle - 3B
  8. Kevin Kiermaier - CF
  9. Willy Adames - SS

It’s win or go home for the Rays. Technically they’re already home since this game is being played at Tropicana Field, but you know what I mean.

This game starts at 7:07 and will air on Fox Sports 1.