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NL Wild Card Game Thread

Another evening of win-or-go-home baseball awaits. This time it’s two NL sides facing off for a trip to the Division Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

Nothing could make me feel “bad” for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They won the World Series last year, they have an ultra-expensive roster, and they are set up to be good for many years to come. But man, it is rough to win 106 games during the regular season and not even win your own division. If that ever happened to the Orioles I would be an absolute wreck.

Since it happened to a team that I have no rooting interest in instead, I can sit back and enjoy a game of baseball that sure looks like it’s gonna be fun.

There are storylines aplenty. You’ve got the defending World Series champs. You’ve got a battle of grizzled old veterans on the mound. You’ve got Albert Pujols (potentially) getting a crucial at-bat late against his former franchise. And it’s all wrapped in the bow that is the Wild Card round of MLB’s playoff format.

Baseball is not designed to be decided by a single game. That said, it’s awfully intriguing when teams have to pull out all the stops to stay alive. Starters cannot have very long leashes to get out of a jam. There is no tomorrow. We saw that with Gerrit Cole on Tuesday, and even Nathan Eovaldi, despite dominating for much of the evening, was pulled at even the faintest whiff of a rally.

If you care at all about how these two pitchers looked at the very end of the season, it’s just about a crapshoot. Scherzer allowed 11 earned runs over his final two starts, which spanned 10.1 innings. Wainwright served up seven runs over 10 innings. Those types of performances will get them pulled early, and that is when things could get interesting.

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10 p.m. ET, TBS

Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.05 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA)

Cardinals lineup

  1. Tommy Edman, 2B
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  3. Tyler O’Neill, LF
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  5. Dylan Carlson, RF
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Edmundo Sosa, SS
  8. Harrison Bader, CF
  9. Adam Wainwright, RHP

Dodgers linsup

  1. Mookie Betts, RF
  2. Corey Seager, SS
  3. Trea Turner, 2B
  4. Justin Turner, 3B
  5. Will Smith, C
  6. AJ Pollack, LF
  7. Matt Beaty, 1B
  8. Cody Bellinger, CF
  9. Max Scherzer, RHP