Joe Maddon's Game 1 Lineup

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced manager Joe Maddon's lineup for this afternoon's Division Series opener against the Texas Rangers, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:07 Central Time.

1. Sean Rodriguez, SS
2. B.J. Upton, CF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
5. Johnny Damon*, DH
6. Kelly Shoppach, C
7. Casey Kotchman*, 1B
8. Desmond Jennings, LF
9. Matt Joyce*, RF

First thing that jumps out -- All-Star right fielder Matt Joyce, batting ninth?

But even in this, his breakout season, Joyce has batted just .217/.287/.370 against left-handed pitchers, and Rangers starter C.J. Wilson is one tough left-handed pitcher. You'll also notice that after Maddon's first four hitters, the lineup goes L-R-L-R-L, which should at least moderately complicate Ron Washington's thoughts if he's forced to turn to his bullpen before the ninth inning.

Otherwise, the only moderate surprise is seeing Sean Rodriguez at the top of the order and rookie Desmond Jennings near the bottom, as their regular-season statistics would suggest the opposite.

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