Link bars always point to the center of the engine. This is a "standard", done for several reasons.....one reason is the oil hole placement for some engines, or link bar to block clearance on others.
Don't soak hydraulic lifters. They are bad enough as it is, as they come filled with test oil. I wipe the Morels off and then lightly oil the outsides before I put them in.
Be sure and check lifter bore clearance with them, as the Morels are a hair oversized.