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Game One Starting Lineup

The Tampa Bay Rays are a team heavy with left handed hitters, and as usual Maddon is choosing to be unconventional with his batting order, but tonight's lineup is a bit surprising.


  1. Sam Fuld, LF
  2. Johnny Damon, DH
  3. B.J. Upton, CF
  4. Felipe Lopez, 3B
  5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  6. Matt Joyce, RF
  7. Dan Johnson, 1B
  8. John Jaso, C
  9. Reid Brignac, SS

According to Tam Tango's The Book, the importance of hitter quality is something like 2, 4, 1, 5, 3, 6, 7, 9, 8. The ranking of 1-9 is mostly based on power, with the exceptions of the leadoff man -- usually the team's biggest speed threat -- and the second hitter who should, at least, not be slow and make a lot of contact with the ball.

Tonight's lineup features Damon, Lopez, and Fuld hitting in the most important spots in the lineup, much to the chagrine and astonishment of DRaysBay readers: You have low standards if you think Felipe Lopez is a good hitter... You should be just as upset that Upton is batting third against a righty.

Damon and Fuld have hit well this past week, but Lopez does not fit the organization's mold for a cleanup hitter and a lot of fans doubt Upton's ability as a power hitter. Regardless, there is usually a method to Maddon's madness, so fans can comfortably bet Lopez and Upton hold each some little-known advantage over the pitcher tonight.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.