MLB on Sling: Pirates vs. Cardinals, or Mets vs. Phillies in Wild Card Scrum on FOX, Indians vs. Royals on FS1; Saturday’s Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks

Oct 01, 2016 by Scott Ross

(All times Eastern, starters subject to change)

Pittsburgh Pirates (Kuhl 5-4, 4.25) vs St. Louis Cardinals (Wacha 7-7, 4.93) or
New York Mets (Colon 14-8, 3.42) vs Philadelphia Phillies (Gonzalez 1-2, 5.35)
1pm ET Saturday on FOX

Stakes is high for the Cardinals, Mets, and Giants this weekend. With all three teams winning on Friday, the Cards remain a game back of the Giants in the hunt for the second Wild Card spot, while the Mets atop the heap, a game ahead of the Giants. With two games to play, the Mets' can clinch a spot with one more win or a Cardinals loss, or a combination of NY wins and SF losses totalling two; any combination of Giants wins and Cardinals losses adding up to 2 and the Giants clinch – The Giants, meanwhile, are facing the NL West champion Dodgers this weekend; life for the Cards is much more difficult – their magic number to beat out the Giants is 4, and to tie the Mets is 4. Suffice to say, they need a lot of help.

Pirates starter Chad Kuhl had a nice run of 9 starts with a 3.10 ERA but just 37 strikeouts in 49 ⅓, but in his last start, against the Cubs, he got lit up, surrendering 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in just 3+ innings. He got chased in the fourth after going single, wild pitch, HBP, single, home run, single, single, single. Hope he got it out of his system. For the Cardinals it’ll be Michael Wacha, who since coming off the DL two weeks ago has made three uninspired relief appearances, giving up 10 runs on 14 hits in 5 2/3. Wacha will be on a short leash, with manager Mike Matheny saying, “We’re going to have — not all hands on deck, but most.“

Bartolo Colon is on the bump for the Metropolitans tonight, at 43 the winningest pitcher on a staff of young studs that a year ago appeared poised to rule the NL East for years to come. Colon is 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA against the Phillies this year, a team with an OPS+ of just 84. Colon however got whacked by the Marlins on Monday, giving up 7 runs on 8 hits in 2 ⅓. The Phillies’ offense is terrible, finishing last in the league in runs, doubles, walks and OPS. For Philly it’s reliever/spot starter Phil Klein, who in three appearances since joining the team has pitched 6 ⅔ innings, giving up 9 runs on 11 hits and 5 walks. There’s really no excuse for the Mets to lose this one and clinch a Wild Card spot.

Cleveland Indians (Bauer 12-8, 4.26) vs Kansas City Royals (Volquez 10-11, 5.37)
4:15pm ET Saturday on FS1

Trevor Bauer takes the ball with two extra days of rest, after rough run of 4 starts in which he went 2-2 with a 7.99 ERA over 23 ⅔ innings with a BABIP of .362 – let’s hope it’s a blip and he regresses to the mean. For the defending champion Royals, it’s Edinson Volquez, who’s hoping to get his record to .500 before the close of the season. It’s been a tough year for Volquez, who leads the NL in runs allowed with 121, and has seen his strikeouts go down while his walks, hits and homers have all gone up, taking the ERA with them

Watch the Pirates vs. the Cardinals, or the Mets vs. the Phillies at 1pm ET on FOX, followed by the Indians vs. the Royals at 4:15p ET on FS1 by subscribing to Sling Blue

Baltimore Orioles (Miley 9-13, 5.40) at New York Yankees (Tanaka 14-4, 3.07)
4pm ET on YES

Miami Marlins (Chen 5-4, 5.02) at Washington Nationals (Roark 15-10, 2.86)
4:05pm ET on FOX Sports Florida

Chicago Cubs (Lester 19-4, 2.28) at Cincinnati Reds (Adleman 3-4, 3.90)
4:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati

Cleveland Indians (Bauer 12-8, 4.26) vs Kansas City Royals (Volquez 10-11, 5.37)
4:15pm ET Saturday on FS1

Detroit Tigers (Boyd 6-5, 4.53) at Atlanta Braves (Blair 1-7, 8.02)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & FOX Sports South

Minnesota Twins (Santiago 12-10, 4.87) at Chicago White Sox (Shields 6-18, 5.82)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports North

Tampa Bay Rays (Odorizzi 9-6, 3.77) at Texas Rangers (Lewis 6-4, 3.93)
8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest & Fox Sports Sun

Milwaukee Brewers (Peralta 7-11, 5.10) at Colorado Rockies (Anderson 5-6, 3.54)
8:10pm ET on FOX Sports Wisconsin

San Diego Padres (Richard 3-3, 2.98) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Bradley 7-9, 5.15)
8:10pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona & FOX Sports San Diego

Houston Astros (McHugh 12-10, 4.53) at Los Angeles Angels (Chacin 5-8, 5.06)
9:05pm ET on FOX Sports West

Watch regional action on FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to Sling Blue

(All stats courtesy Baseball Reference and ESPN](http://www.espn.com/mlb/)

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