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Mike Napoli back in left field for the Rangers

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With Cole Hamels taking the mound against Scott Kazmir today, Mike Napoli is back in left field and hitting 5th

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Hamels faces off against Astros lefty Scott Kazmir in Game 1 of the four game set between Texas and Houston tonight, and with the Astros going with a lefthanded starter, Mike Napoli is the starting left fielder again.

Personally, I'm not really a fan of this.  Let's be clear...this isn't about getting Mike Napoli's bat in the lineup, as some have suggested.  Mike Napoli has been starting against lefties since he got here.

This is ultimately about keeping Mitch Moreland and Prince Fielder in the lineup against a lefthanded pitcher.  Given the struggles Mitch Moreland has traditionally had against lefties, and given that Prince basically hasn't hit for the past two-and-a-half months, I don't see how starting Napoli in left field so that you can get both of them in the lineup makes a ton of sense.  There's really not a great option available, but Ryan Rua was your starting left fielder to start the season and has a history of hitting lefties well, though he's not hit well this year, and Drew Stubbs and Ryan Strausborger both give you quality defenders at the position.

So, since I've talked about this, watch Prince and Moreland both mash against Kazmir while Napoli makes a great play in left tonight...

The lineup:

DeShields -- CF

Choo -- RF

Beltre -- 3B

Prince -- DH

Napoli -- LF

Moreland -- 1B

Elvis -- SS

Odor -- 2B

Gimenez -- C