MLB’s first-ever wild-card series weekend is in elephantine swing. And as many as four groups shall be sent packing this day.
Because the playoff arena expands to 12 groups for the 2022 postseason, four most fantastic-of-three series will decide which groups will attain to the ALDS (in opposition to both the Houston Astros or the Original York Yankees) and NLDS (in opposition to both the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers).
Saturday’s festivities open with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays having a leer to stave off elimination in opposition to the Cleveland Guardians, followed by the Seattle Mariners hoping to knock out the Blue Jays in Toronto. Then or no longer it’s the Original York Mets making an try to steer distinct of a dwelling sweep in opposition to the San Diego Padres and, at final, the Philadelphia Phillies eyeing a series seize in opposition to the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Apply the action below all day long with open times, pitching matchups and beginning lineups as they’re announced, followed by in-sport updates and takeaways after every sport is concluded.
More: Everything or no longer it’s a must to seize referring to the 2022 MLB playoffs | Greatest postseason … ever? | Ace rankings (ESPN+)| Bracket, results and extra
Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Guardians (12: 07 ET on ESPN2)
Guardians lead series 1-0
Rays starter: Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 10 Good sufficient, 1.35 ERA)
Guardians starter: Triston McKenzie (11-11, 190 Good sufficient, 2.96 ERA)
1. Yandy Diaz (R) 3B
2. Hump Franco (S) SS
3. Randy Arozarena (R) LF
4. Harold Ramirez (R) DH
5. Ji-Man Choi (L) 1B
6. Isaac Paredes (R) 2B
7. Manuel Margot (R) RF
8. Christian Bethancourt (R) C
Jose Siri (R) CF
1. Steven Kwan (L) LF
2. Amed Rosario (R) SS
3. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
4. Josh Naylor (L) 1B
5. Oscar Gonzalez (R) RF
6. Andres Gimenez (L) 2B
7. Will Brennan (L) DH
8. Austin Hedges (R) C
9. Myles Straw (R) CF
What to survey for: After a Game 1 loss, it will seemingly be up the righty Glasnow to assign the Rays’ season on Saturday. Or no longer it’s barely the problem brooding about he correct returned to acquire his first two starts down the stretch (allowing one speed in 6 2/3 innings) after present process Tommy John surgical operation in Aug. 2021. Glasnow and the Rays’ workers both disclose the 28-twelve months-former’s stuff is as merely as ever, but he shall be puny to 4-5 innings in Game 2.
Generally, that would possibly per chance per chance perchance properly be an unfamiliar blueprint in an elimination sport, but or no longer it’s business as abnormal for a Tampa Bay team barely accustomed to turning issues over to its bullpen. The Rays led the majors in innings pitched by relievers, and no diversified 2022 postseason team accomplished increased than 11th. Or no longer it’s a characteristic for the Rays — no longer a worm.
Meanwhile, the 24-twelve months-former McKenzie will preserve the mound with of enterprise to pitch Cleveland to its first playoff series seize since the 2016 ALCS. McKenzie’s ERA dropped this season by correct about two runs from his 2021 set apart, and now he has of enterprise to apply Guardians ace Shane Bieber’s stable Game 1 outing with one of his own. — Jesse Rogers
Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays (4: 07 ET on ESPN)
Mariners lead series 1-0
Mariners starter: Robbie Ray (12-12, 212 Good sufficient, 3.71 ERA)
Blue Jays starter: Kevin Gausman (12-10, 205 Good sufficient, 3.35 ERA)
What to survey for: Few opposing pitchers know the Blue Jays besides Robbie Ray. He spent final season with Toronto, won the American League Cy Younger Award, absconded for Seattle as a free agent and now can discontinuance his worn team’s season Saturday, as the Mariners want correct one extra seize following their 4-0 victory in opposition to the Blue Jays in Game 1 of their wild-card series. Seattle’s offense quieted a raucous Rogers Centre crowd with three first-speed innings in Game 1, and it will leer to contact up Gausman, Ray’s replace within the Jays’ rotation and Game 2 opponent, correct the identical. The stakes for the Mariners are distinct: With a seize in Game 2 (or Game 3), they’re going to attain to the division series in opposition to AL West rival Houston — and acquire sure that web web hosting a postseason sport for the first time since 2001. For Toronto, getting to Ray is imperative. If they acquire no longer, the Jays’ October shall be a transient one. — Jeff Passan
San Diego Padres at Original York Mets (7: 37 ET on ESPN)
Padres lead series 1-0
Padres starter: Blake Snell (8-10, 171 Good sufficient, 3.38 ERA)
Mets starter: Jacob deGrom (5-4, 102 Good sufficient, 3.08 ERA)
What to survey for: It isn’t crucial that the Mets won 101 common-season games. All of it comes all of the type down to deGrom to serve assign Original York’s season on Saturday. The Mets will want deGrom on the tip of his sport, with their offense struggling in gargantuan moments in recent weeks, most notably all the contrivance via their disastrous final series in opposition to the Braves. Even with Starling Marte serve within the lineup, the Mets looked leisurely on Friday, leaving eight runners on scandalous, and failing to capitalize on any momentum they constructed off Yu Darvish.
The Padres counter deGrom with Snell, one of many greatest pitchers in baseball all the contrivance via the second half. Since the All-Significant person ruin, Snell has the second-perfect strikeout rate in baseball (12.12 Good sufficient/9) among all starters, ranking on the serve of correct Carlos Rodon, the fifth-most fantastic ERA (2.19), third-most fantastic FIP (2.23) and the second-perfect fWAR. While Snell has no longer looked cherish a worn Cy Younger Award winner all the contrivance via his time in San Diego, he has chanced on his acquire all over again in recent months. The Mets enjoy their work chop out for them. — Joon Lee
Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals (8: 37 ET on ESPN2)
Phillies lead series 1-0
Phillies starter: Aaron Nola (11-13, 235 Good sufficient, 3.25 ERA)
Cardinals starter: Miles Mikolas (12-13, 153 Good sufficient, 3.29 ERA)
What to survey for: The Cardinals desire a seize to assign their season — and they also’ll even desire a smarter. Ryan Helsley, dominant all twelve months, used to be noticeably erratic within the ninth inning of Game 1, environment the stage for an excellent Phillies comeback. Cardinals supervisor Oliver Marmol mentioned he “started to lose moderately bit of feel for his pitches,” a byproduct of the lawful heart finger he jammed three days earlier. As a minimum, it looks as despite the incontrovertible fact that the Cardinals is no longer going to enjoy him for Game 2 — and that would possibly per chance per chance perchance instantaneous them to point out to Jack Flaherty, previously hailed as their ace, to pitch in a assign arena. Flaherty used to be warming up within the ninth inning alongside Andre Pallante, and Marmol saved Pallante throwing moderately longer than anticipated in uncover to assign Flaherty for attainable utilization in Game 2.
That can per chance perchance merely no longer matter if the Cardinals can’t acquire to Nola, a supreme example of why a team cherish the Phillies would possibly per chance per chance perchance be so terrible in a most fantastic-of-three series. The Phillies’ roster is littered with factors, but their lineup has high-discontinuance expertise in Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber, and their pitching workers is fronted by two bona fide aces in Zack Wheeler and Nola. Wheeler held the Cardinals scoreless via 6 1/3 innings in Game 1. And Nola, who pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings in opposition to the Astros within the Phillies’ clincher earlier this week, is completely edifying of doing the identical. Nonetheless Mikolas, who has a 2.13 ERA in two starts in opposition to the Phillies this season, can dangle with him. — Alden Gonzalez