Bud Selig's dream comes true today as the two wild card games are set to be played. The "one and done" format means do or die for each of the four teams as the losers will go home and the winners will go on to play the best teams in each league for the division series.
And whether or not you are a fan of the new proceedings, the games should be filled with drama and exciting to watch. Of course, they could end up being blowouts but let's hope that does not happen.
- The Braves over the Cardinals: The Cardinals have certainly been in this position before and used the wild card finish last year to go all the way to the World Series title. But their task is difficult here as the Braves get the home field and the hottest pitcher on the planet in Kris Medlen. If the Braves can get the early lead, their bulllpen can lock it down like no other team in baseball. But the Cardinals do have their good luck charm on the mound. Kyle Lohse had a wonderful run this season and finished with a 16-3 record. And his record was no fluke as he had an excellent earned run average and just a 1.09 WHIP. The two starting pitchers had a combined win-loss record of 26-4! Holy cow! But somebody has to win the game.
- The Rangers over the Orioles: The Rangers get home field, but they have to be coming into this game shell-shocked by how the season ended. That said, they have their best pitcher on the mound in Yu Darvish. If Darvish is on, he will mow the Orioles down. But Darvish will have a clunker of a start now and then and that's what the Orioles have to hope for. The Orioles will start Joe Saunders. At first glance, that choice would make the average fan snicker. But heck, the Orioles have not chosen unwisely all season and somehow it always seems to work. One thing is certain, Ron Washington will not out-manage Buck Showalter. The pick comes down to the simple thought that Darvish should do better than Saunders.
Wednesday: 5-10 Not a good end to the season!