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Yankees announce Wild Card Game lineup against Boston

Anthony Rizzo slots in at leadoff with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton right behind him.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Yankees have announced their starting lineup ahead of tonight’s clash with the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game. These are the ten players they’ll trot out initially as they try to advance through the do-or-die matchup at Fenway Park:

There’s intrigue right from the top, as Aaron Boone has penciled in Anthony Rizzo as the leadoff hitter. The manager appears to simply want to get his best hitters as many plate appearances as possible, as the Yankees have essentially slotted their four top bats right at the start of the order.

Also of note is Andrew Velazquez’s inclusion. The 27-year-old infielder endeared himself to fans back in August, coming up with a few big plays during the club’s 13-game winning streak. The Yankees will hope he can flash the leather at short, as his .224/.235/.358 slash line in the bigs this year leaves something to be desired.

Unsurprisingly, Brett Gardner gets the start in center, and Kyle Higashioka steps in behind the dish with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Also as expected, Gio Urshela starts two days after flying into the Rays dugout on Sunday, though he shifts back over to his natural position at third.

What do you think of Boone’s starting lineup? Does this order lead the Yankees into the ALDS? Let us know in the comments below.