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NL Wild Card Game open thread

The Nationals and Brewers play one game on Tuesday night to determine who makes it into the real playoffs.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
Christian Yelich is hurt. Too bad for the Brewers, although they did get into the playoffs without him.
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

My default setting towards all National League teams is ambivalence, which occasionally ventures into some level of dislike depending on whether they have done anything that I find to be annoying or worse.

With the Nationals playing the Brewers in the NL Wild Card game tonight, it’s not too hard to figure out who I don’t like more. After all, the Nationals are engaged, with MLB’s blessing, in an effort to screw the Orioles out of TV money. It has nothing to do with me personally, but it does tangentially involve the fortunes of my favorite baseball team, so there is an irrational emotional investment in the outcome, moreso than sports are already.

Others may feel differently about this regional rivalry, and that’s OK. In general, no one is a bad person for mildly enjoying the Nationals regular season success or even somewhat preferring that they experience kind of postseason success that the team has not yet had even once. Whether winning a wild card game counts as winning a postseason series is probably an argument they would like to have - after winning a wild card game.

Maybe they will. I would feel better about being the team that has Max Scherzer starting in a winner-take-all game. Somewhat hilariously, the Nationals were only 14-13 in Scherzer starts this year, but that was more about their crummy bullpen than anything - and for this wild card game the bullpen is loaded up with the Nats other starters, Stephen Strasburg, Anibal Sanchez, and Patrick Corbin.

The 89-73 Brewers were only “supposed” to be 81-81 by the Pythagorean win-loss expectation based on runs scored and allowed. I have a soft spot in my heart for Pythagorean overachievers after the 2012 Orioles. I think it would be fun if their Christian Yelich-less ride improbably continues.

This game is set for an 8:08 Eastern start time on TBS.

Walgreens lineup

  1. Trea Turner - SS
  2. Adam Eaton - RF
  3. Anthony Rendon - 3B
  4. Juan Soto - LF
  5. Howie Kendrick - 1B
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B
  7. Kurt Suzuki - C
  8. Victor Robles - CF
  9. Max Scherzer - RHP

Brewers lineup

  1. Trent Grisham - RF
  2. Yasmani Grandal - C
  3. Mike Moustakas - 3B
  4. Keston Hiura - 2B
  5. Ryan Braun - LF
  6. Eric Thames - 1B
  7. Lorenzo Cain - CF
  8. Orlando Arcia - SS
  9. Brandon Woodruff - RHP