Red Sox vs. Astros ALCS Game 4 starting lineups: Houston moves on-base machine Alex Bregman to leadoff

HOUSTON -- Three games into the 2018 American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox hold a 2-1 series lead over the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. Game 4 is Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park. Here's how you can watch the game.

Game 4 is not a literal "must win" for the Astros -- this isn't a win or go home situation -- but, clearly, the Astros do not want to fall behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Beating the Red Sox three times in a row feels impossible right now. Anyway, here is the starting lineup the visiting Red Sox will use in Game 4:

  1. RF Mookie Betts
  2. LF Andrew Benintendi
  3. DH J.D. Martinez
  4. SS Xander Bogaerts
  5. 3B Rafael Devers
  6. 1B Steve Pearce
  7. 2B Brock Holt
  8. C Christian Vazquez
  9. CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

    RHP Rick Porcello

With right-hander Charlie Morton on the mound for the Astros, Red Sox manager Alex Cora has replaced the right-handed hitting Eduardo Nunez and Ian Kinsler with the lefty hitting Devers and Holt, respectively. Nunez suffered a minor ankle injury in Game 3 but likely would've been out of the Game 4 lineup anyway given his inconsistent play. Also, Mitch Moreland remains sidelined with a nagging hamstring injury, so Pearce stays in at first base.

Now here is the starting lineup the home Astros will sent out there Wednesday:

  1. 3B Alex Bregman
  2. CF George Springer
  3. DH Jose Altuve
  4. 2B Marwin Gonzalez
  5. 1B Yuli Gurriel
  6. RF Josh Reddick
  7. SS Carlos Correa
  8. C Martin Maldonado
  9. LF Tony Kemp

    RHP Rick Porcello

The Red Sox have been pitching around Bregman all series -- he has seven walks and a .714 on-base percentage in the series -- but nobody has been driving him in. So, Astros manager A.J. Hinch has decided to change things up and move Bregman to the leadoff spot. That gives him more at-bats than anyone on the team and also puts some better hitters behind him. If the Red Sox are going to continue to pitch around him, Springer and Altuve are better able to bring Bregman home than Gurriel or Gonzalez.

Also, Altuve remains at DH in Game 4 as he deals with a nagging knee injury that has bothered him since July. The injury moves Gonzalez from left to center and puts Kemp in the lineup in left over Tyler White at DH. Altuve favored his knee noticeably when running the bases in Game 3, though he also laid down a bunt hit and beat it out. It seems he protects the knee whenever possible, but can bust it when necessary.

LCS games will air on Fox, FS1 and TBS, which can be streamed on fuboTV (Try for free). For a look at the complete schedule, click here 

So who wins every playoff game? And which teams are a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get MLB Playoff picks from the proven model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.   

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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