Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Kyle Schwarber leads off Wild Card showdown

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Red Sox roll out interesting lineup for Wild Card clash vs. Yankees originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Alex Cora is shaking things up for Tuesday's showdown with the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.

Slugger Kyle Schwarber will bat leadoff as the Red Sox' designated hitter in their matchup with the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game.

Schwarber hasn't batted leadoff since Sept. 5, but these stats may explain Cora's decision: Schwarber hit .297 with 17 of his 32 total home runs and 30 of his 71 total RBIs over just 27 games in the leadoff spot this season.

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The 28-year-old also is a clutch postseason performer, so perhaps Boston wanted to maximize his at-bats in Tuesday's win-or-go home affair. At the very least, batting a DH in the leadoff spot has been a good omen for the Red Sox in the past. (Regular DH J.D. Martinez is out with an ankle injury.)

Regular leadoff hitter Kike Hernandez, who has 19 homers of his own from the No. 1 spot, will slide to second in the order against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Hernandez also will play center field, with the recently-activated Christian Arroyo taking over at second base and batting ninth.

The other lineup eye-opener is Kevin Plawecki starting at catcher over regular Christian Vazquez. Plawecki has a better rapport with Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, though: Eovaldi boasted a 3.28 ERA over 96 innings with Plawecki as his catcher compared with a 4.77 ERA over 66 innings with Vazquez.

Here are the full lineups for both teams entering Tuesday night's 8:08 p.m. ET showdown at Fenway.

Boston Red Sox (92-70)

Kyle Schwarber, DH

Kike Hernandez, CF

Rafael Devers, 3B

Xander Bogaerts, SS

Alex Verdugo, LF

Hunter Renfroe, RF

Kevin Plawecki, C

Bobby Dalbec, 1B

Christian Arroyo, 2B

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (11-9, 3.75 ERA)

New York Yankees (92-70)

Anthony Rizzo, 1B

Aaron Judge, RF

Giancarlo Stanton, DH

Joey Gallo, LF

Gleyber Torres, 2B

Brett Gardner, CF

Gio Urshela, 3B

Kyle Higashioka, C

Andrew Velazquez, SS

Gerrit Cole, RHP (16-8, 3.23 ERA)