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Yankees starting lineup for AL Wild Card game vs. Red Sox

We go over the Yankees batting order and defense for the one-game playoff in Boston on Tuesday night.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees in action against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on October 01, 2021 in New York City. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 4-3. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New York Yankees announced their starting lineup for the AL Wild Card game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night at 8:08 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Yankees will be without INF DJ LeMahieu, who was left off the 26-man roster.

The other notable name out of the lineup is Gary Sanchez, who doesn’t normally catch for ace Gerrit Cole. This isn’t all that surprising a move. Manager Aaron Boone already mentioned Sanchez will be available off the bench to pinch hit if needed. This could mean whenever Cole exits the game, the Yankees could insert Sanchez if offense is needed. Otherwise Kyle Higashioka will catch, providing better defense behind the plate.

Let’s take a look at the starting lineup for the Yanks in the one-game playoff tonight:

Anthony Rizzo, 1B (L)
Aaron Judge, RF (R)
Giancarlo Stanton, DH (R)
Joey Gallo, LF (L)
Gleyber Torres, 2B (R)
Brett Gardner, CF (L)
Gio Urshela, 3B (R)
Kyle Higashioka, C (R)
Andrew Velazquez, SS (S)

Starting pitcher: Gerrit Cole

This lineup is, ahhh, pretty interesting. Aaron Boone is opting for defense over everything really. Velazquez is inexperienced but this is the best infield the Yankees could throw out there sans DJ. Rizzo takes over as leadoff hitter for Torres, who was initially believed to be batting first. Chances are the Yankees are going to want to work Nathan Eovaldi to get to the Red Sox bullpen or other starters. Rizzo has the ability to walk and has Judge and Stanton behind him, so Eovaldi can’t pitch around Rizzo.

The other move that stands out is moving Gleyber back to the 5-hole and staggering him and Urshela, rather than having Gardner bat 7th and making the bottom of the Yankees order much weaker. Urshela gives the Yankees a tougher out late in the order.