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Wednesday MLB playoffs open thread

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Old friend Jake Arrieta pitches for the Cubs as they try to eliminate the Nationals. Later, Yankees-Indians comes down to Game 5 in Cleveland.

Chicago Cubs v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Rain granted the Nationals another 24 hours to run through some will he-or-won't he drama with Stephen Strasburg in advance of Game 4 of the NLDS against the Cubs. First he wouldn't, and it was either because he was super sick or because he didn't want to adjust his routine.

Hours before the first pitch, the team announced Strasburg would start, and it's either because he's better or because, in a time of great need, he's pitching while still sick or against his usual routine. It's an elimination game, for crying out loud, and the rainout gets him going on extra rest. Narratives will be spun about this game however it ends up, fairly or not.

Being the hater that I am, I am of course hoping that the Nationals lose hilariously, with truly spectacular and glorious failure in front of everyone who tunes in. Their game starts at 4:08 on TBS, by the way.

Jake Arrieta is pitching for the Cubs. Arrieta is now two years removed from his Cy Young season and he hasn't looked as great ever since. The near-flawless command of 2015 has slid back towards more pedestrian rates, and he's given up more hits and especially more home runs this season. Due to a hamstring problem, this will be his first postseason outing. I hope he's good.

Later, the Indians could knock off the Yankees... or be knocked out by the Yankees. It's Game 5 for those two teams in Cleveland, getting underway at 8:08 on Fox Sports 1. This could be a great day for Baltimore sports fans - or a terrible one.

Today's Lineups

WASHINGTON NATIONALS CHICAGO CUBS
Trea Turner - SS Jon Jay - CF
Jayson Werth - LF Kris Bryant - 3B
Bryce Harper - RF Anthony Rizzo - 1B
Ryan Zimmerman - 1B Willson Contreras - C
Daniel Murphy - 2B Ben Zobrist - LF
Anthony Rendon - 3B Addison Russell - SS
Matt Wieters - C Jason Heyward - RF
Michael Taylor - CF Javier Baez - 2B
Stephen Strasburg - RHP Jake Arrieta - RHP