The postseason officially begins today! It’s one of those glorious days when you can watch four baseball games all in one day, although you’ll have to skip around as they are sure to overlap time-wise.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of this round of the playoffs is knowing that the Orioles got to skip it. Along with the AL West-winning Astros, NL East-winning Braves, and NL West-winning Dodgers, they get to sit back and wait until this weekend to begin their postseason journey.
The Wild Card round is a best-of-three series that takes place entirely in the ballpark of the team with the higher seed. Let’s play ball!
3:08 - Texas Rangers (5) @ Tampa Bay Rays (4), ABC
Starting pitchers: LHP Jordan Montgomery (TEX) vs. RHP Tyler Glasnow (TB)
If I were on the Rangers I’d still be very mad at myself and my teammates for blowing the division lead and having to play in this series at all. But I guess you need to have a short memory in this business.
As you probably already know, the winner of this series will travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles this weekend in the ALDS. FanGraphs gives the Rays a 59% chance to win this game.
4:38 - Blue Jays (6) @ Twins (3), ESPN
Starting pitchers: RHP Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs. RHP Pablo López (MIN)
Toronto fell into the last playoff spot on the final day of the season, rerouting them to Minnesota rather than to Tampa Bay as we had all figured. I am guessing this is fine by them as the Twins are the weakest team in the AL postseason despite winning their division.
The winner of this series will face the Astros in the ALDS. FanGraphs thinks this game is pretty evenly matched and gives the Blue Jays a 51.8% chance to win.
7:08 - Diamondbacks (6) @ Brewers (3), ESPN2
Starting pitchers: RHP Brandon Pfaadt (AZ) vs. RHP Corbin Burnes (MIL)
This is definitely the matchup of the teams I know the least about in the postseason. The Diamondbacks were swept by the Astros to end the season but hung on to the last WC spot. They face the Brewers, who won the AL Central with a 92-70 record.
FanGraphs likes the Brewers a lot in in this game and gives them a 60.1% chance of winning.
8:08 - Marlins (5) @ Phillies (4), ESPN
Starting pitchers: LHP Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs. Zack Wheeler (PHI)
The Marlins are making just their second postseason appearance since they won the World Series in 2003, but also their second since 2020. The Phillies, of course, were just in the World Series last year. They lost to the Astros.
FanGraphs likes the Phillies in this one with a 60% chance that they’ll win.