LEADING OFF: Rays’ Snell, Astros’ Valdez meet in ALCS opener

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By The Associated Press

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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HELLO AGAIN

Houston and Tampa Bay are set to open their AL Championship Series in San Diego, with Astros left-hander Framber Valdez opposing 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. The Rays are seeking revenge after Houston beat them in five games in the AL Division Series last year.

The Astros are in the ALCS for the fourth straight year, looking for a third trip to the World Series in that span. After going 29-31 during the regular season, Houston is 5-1 in the playoffs after eliminating AL West champion Oakland in four games in the ALDS at Dodger Stadium.

The Rays are trying to get to their second World Series after losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. They went the distance in their ALDS against the Yankees, advancing with a 2-1 victory Friday night on Mike Brosseau’s dramatic eighth-inning home run off Aroldis Chapman.

CLOSED OUT

In a season that’s gone exceedingly well for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a late problem that popped up is causing a lot of concern: Can they still count on Kenley Jansen as their closer?

That has become an uncomfortable question for manager Dave Roberts and…



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