MILWAUKEE -- With a good mixture of lefties and righties, speed at the top in Jordan Schafer and one of the team's best hitters in Jose Altuve in the No. 8 hole, Astros manager Brad Mills appears to have settled on a lineup configuration.
When the regulars are starting at the eight positions, the Astros have three left-handed bats in the order in Schafer, Brian Bogusevic and Jason Castro and one switch-hitter in Jed Lowrie, who homered from the left side of the plate in the first inning Monday. It's a good balance, says Mills.
"I think the lineup we have right now with the batting order, we can produce the kind of runs we want to produce," he said. "That's what we try to do is balance this thing out. Altuve is swinging the bat so well in the No. 8 hole, and Jed Lowrie keeps coming around and swinging the bat well. Carlos [Lee] is built for the fourth hole, and J.D. [Martinez] is getting on base and doing things in the third spot."
There has been more uncertainty in the second and eighth spots in the order so far this season, though Mills said last week he prefers to have Lowrie hit second because of his ability to hit left-handed.