Some will look at tonight’s Cubs vs. Pirates game and grumble, with some justification, that the Wild Card system needs a tweak. The teams with the second- and third-best records in baseball are meeting in a one-game playoff, while lesser teams like the Mets and Rangers get a few extra days to rest and line up their rotations. Maybe it is time to do away with divisions and just seed the teams in each league.
But in the meantime, would you look at this pitching match-up?
At the age of 24, Gerrit Cole has established himself as the Pirates’ ace, and one of the best pitchers in the NL, finishing in the top ten in wins, ERA, WHiP, innings and strikeouts. And Cole was lights-out against the Cubs this year,... Read More
Cardinals at Pirates (7pm ET Wednesday, ESPN) The Cards and the Pirates, owners of the two best records in baseball, were rained out on Tuesday, forcing them to play a Wednesday doubleheader with the NL Central title on the line. A Cardinals win in either game would clinch the division, and relegate the Pirates to the Wild Card.
The Redbirds are sending spot starter Tyler Lyons to face the Pirates’ Charlie Morton in the nightcap. Lyons, who’s made only 7 starts this year, was pressed into service on Friday, when St. Louis fireballer Carlos Martinez was pulled after only 6 pitches with a right shoulder strain prematurely ending his season. Lyons proved to be a savior, pitching 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball, at one point striking out 5... Read More
More than just divisional rivals, the Cards and Bucs have the two best records in baseball, and, as such, the first two teams two clinch playoff berths. Monday’s showdown is the first of a three-game series that represents the Pirates' last best chance to wrest control of the NL Central, and relegate the Cards to the one-game Wild Card playoff round. It would be sweet revenge for their 2013 loss to St. Louis in the NLDS.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn has faded down the stretch, going 4-5 in his last 10 starts, while averaging less than 5 innings a game. In 49 innings he’s surrendered 56 hits and 27 walks, while striking out only 35. In three starts against Pittsburgh this year, he’s gone... Read More
With just over two weeks left in the 2015 Major League Baseball season, the playoff picture is largely settled, except where it’s not, and where it’s not, OH MAN is it not.
The intrigue begins in the AL East, where the Toronto Blue Jays hold a slim 3.5 game lead over the New York Yankees. A series sweep for the Yankees, whose recent surge includes taking two of three from the first-place Mets in last weekend’s interleague series, would put them back at the top of the division, and a sweep for the Jays would likely put the division out of reach for the Bombers.
There are four MLB games on Sling TV this weekm and all four of them have playoff implications.
There’s no tighter divisional race in baseball right now than the AL West, where the Houston Astros hold a slim 1.5 game lead over their intrastate rival Texas Rangers. With less than a month to go in the regular season, that’s close enough to make the Astros nervous even if the two teams weren’t scheduled to meet seven more times in 2015, but they are, including Tuesday’s game at 8pm ET on ESPN.
The Rangers are surging, coming off a 12-4 spanking of the Oakland A’s Sunday, where offensive leader... Read More