Brace yourselves MLB fans. We have three elimination games coming gin the next 48 hours. Will the two best teams in baseball move one step closer to a rematch of the 2017 World Series or will a couple of underdogs shock the world?
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves
Wednesday at 5pm ET on TBS
On Monday, the Atlanta Braves were leading the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 in the top of the 6th inning with the bases loaded and just a few innings away from advancing to the NLCS for the first time since 2001. But the Braves couldn’t fire the kill shot and in the bottom of the 8th. Yadier Molina drove in the tying run with a two-out single, then in the 10th he drove in the winning run with a sac fly to left. And just like that the series was tied 2-2.
Jack Flaherty will take the ball for the Cards, and Mike Foltynewicz will be on the hill for the Braves in tonight’s rubber match. Flaherty was brilliant this season, with a league-leading .968 WHIP over 196 ⅔ innings with a 2.75 ERA. He pitched reasonably well in his postseason debut last week, giving up three earned over seven innings, but ended up taking the loss. A year after finishing 8th in the Cy Young balloting, Foltynewicz struggled with injuries, finishing the season with a 4.54 ERA over 117 innings pitched.
Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Wednesday at 8:30pm ET on TBS
With his team facing elimination and clinging to a one-run lead in the 5th, elder statesman Ryan Zimmerman launched a 414-foot 3-run home run to center field. The Nats would add another run in the 6th en route to a 6-1 that assured they would live to see another day.
Now, with the season on the line and the loser going home, the Nats head to Los Angeles itching to unseat the two-time defending NL champs. On the bump for the Nats will be Stephen Strasburg, who is coming off a year in which he led the NL in wins (18) and innings pitched (209) with a 3.32 ERA and 10.8 strikeouts per 9 innings. For the Dodgers, it’ll be young stud Walker Buehler, who in his first full season in the bigs went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA and 5.8 SO/BB.
Tamp Bay Rays at Houston Astros
Thursday at 7pm ET on FS1
Don’t forget Thursday night is David vs. Goliath as the upstart low-budget Rays try to take down the mighty juggernaut that is the Houston Astros. Tyler Glasnow gets the ball for Tampa. But for the fact that he missed roughly four months of the season, he was outstanding, going 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. For the Astros, it will be Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole, who in his previous start this series pitched 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball with 15 strikeouts.
All stats courtesy Baseball-Reference.com