The first ever wild-card series in MLB is currently in full swing. There are as up to 4 teams may be sent packing on Monday.
As the playoff field grows to 12 teams for the 2022 postseason four best-of-3 series will determine which teams advance towards the ALDS (against either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees) and NLDS (against either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers).
The weekend’s festivities will begin by welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays looking to keep the Guardians from going down in the battle against Cleveland Guardians, followed by the Seattle Mariners hoping to knock off all Blue Jays in Toronto. Then , it’s time for the New York Mets trying to stay clear of a home sweep against their rivals the San Diego Padres and, lastly The Philadelphia Phillies eyeing a series victory against St. Louis Cardinals on the other side of St. Louis.
Watch the action below all day long , including starting times as well as pitching matchups and the lineups that are announced, then follow-up with information and updates in the game and after every game has been concluded.
Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Guardians (12:07 ET on ESPN2)
Guardians lead series 1-0
Rays pitcher: Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 10 K, 1.35 ERA)
Guardians starter: Triston McKenzie (11-11, 190 K, 2.96 ERA)
What to look out for: Following an embarrassing Game 1 loss, it’ll be the right-handed Glasnow’s turn to keep the Rays this year on Saturday. It’s a tough task considering the fact that he’s just returned to make his first two appearances down the distance (allowing one run over 6 3/3 of an inning) after having Tommy John surgery in Aug. 2021. Glasnow as well as the Rays staff say the 28-year-old’s game is just as good as it has ever been however he’ll be restricted to 4-5 innings for Game 2.
Normally, this is something that’s not commonplace for an elimination game however, this is a normal procedure for an Tampa Bay team quite accustomed to handing over the ball the bullpen. The Rays were the top majors team in relief pitchers’ innings as well, and every other 2022 postseason team placed better than 11th. This is a feature of the Rays and not a problem.
The 24-year-old McKenzie will get on the field with the chance of pitching Cleveland for its very first series victory in playoffs in the last ALCS. McKenzie’s ERA decreased this season by two runs off his 2021 mark, and McKenzie has the chance to emulate Guardians Shane Bieber’s stellar Game 1 performance by pitching his own. — Jesse Rogers
Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays (4:07 ET on ESPN)
Mariners take the lead in series by 1-0
Mariners starter: Robbie Ray (12-12, 212 K, 3.71 ERA)
Blue Jays starter: Kevin Gausman (12-10, 205 K, 3.35 ERA)
Watch out for: Very few pitchers opposing you are familiar with about the Blue Jays as well as Robbie Ray. He was a part of the team last season Toronto and won the American League Cy Young Award and then escaped to Seattle as an unrestricted free agent. He will finish his previous team’s season on Saturday since the Mariners only need one more win after their 4-0 win against Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of their wild-card series. Seattle’s offense slowed down a boisterous Rogers Centre crowd with three first-run innings in Game 1. and they’ll be hoping to warm the ball of Gausman as Ray’s replacement the Blue Jays rotation, as well as Game 2’s opponent, exactly the same. The goals are high for Seattle’s Mariners will be clear. with the win in the second game (or the Game 3) and they’ll be advancing towards the Division Series against AL West rival Houston -and be able to host playoff games in the very first postseason game since 2001. For Toronto the team, making it to Ray is essential. If they do not then the Jays may have a month that is an extremely short one. — Jeff Passan
San Diego Padres at New York Mets (7:37 ET on ESPN)
Padres lead series 1-0
Padres pitcher: Blake Snell (8-10, 171 K, 3.38 ERA)
Mets pitcher: Jacob deGrom (5-4, 101 Ks, 3.08 ERA)
What to look out for What to watch for: It doesn’t matter if the Mets have won 101 games during the regular season. It all boils down to deGrom’s ability to help keep New York’s season alive on Saturday. The Mets will require deGrom to be at his best in the face of their offensive struggles during big moments of recent weeks, particularly during their final game of the season, which was a disaster with the Braves. Even without Starling Marte returning to the lineup however, the Mets were sluggish on Friday, with eight runners on the base and failing to take advantage of any momentum they’ve built from Yu Darvish’s.
The Padres take on deGrom using Snell who is among the top pitchers in baseball in the second quarter. From the time of the All-Star break Snell is second in strikeout rate in the game (12.12 K/9) in all pitchers and is just behind Carlos Rodon, the fifth-best ERA (2.19) as well as the third-best FIP (2.23) and the second-highest FWAR. Although Snell hasn’t looked as an earlier Cy Young Award winner during his time in San Diego, he has discovered his form again in the last few months. The Mets must work to the chase. — Joon Lee
Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals (8:37 ET on ESPN2)
Phillies lead series 1-0
Phillies pitcher: Aaron Nola (11-13, 335 Ks, 3.25 ERA)
Cardinals starter: Miles Mikolas (12-13, 153 K, 3.29 ERA)
Watch out for What to watch for: The Cardinals must victory to salvage their season. But they may also require an extra closer. Ryan Helsley, dominant all season, was erratic in the ninth game’s first inning, which set the stage for a highly unlikely Phillies comeback. Cardinals director Oliver Marmol said he “started to lose a little bit of feel for his pitches,” due to the right middle finger that he was unable to release three days prior. At the very minimum it appears that the Cardinals aren’t going to have him for Game 2 and this could cause them to look to Jack Flaherty, previously hailed as their star for pitching in a save scenario. Flaherty began warming-up in the 9th inning with Andre Pallante, and Marmol continued to keep Pallante throwing a bit longer than he had planned in order to protect Flaherty for a possible use in Game 2.
This could be irrelevant in the event that the Cardinals cannot reach Nola which is a great illustration of how teams like the Phillies is so dangerous in a best-of-three game. The Phillies team is filled with issues, however their team has top players including Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto as well as Kyle Schwarber and their pitching staff is led by two aces who are genuine that are Zack Wheeler and Nola. Wheeler kept the Cardinals at bay for six 3 1/3 innings of Game 1. and Nola who tossed 6 2/3 in shutout innings for the Astros in the Phillies’ clincher earlier in the week, is fully equipped to perform similar. However, Mikolas with had a 2.13 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this season, could be a force to reckon with. — Alden Gonzalez