Oct 4, 2013, 11:24 AM EST
NLDS: PITTSBURGH PIRATES (94-69) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (98-65)
Series: Cardinals lead 1-0
Where: Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO
Gametime: 1:00 p.m.
TV: MLB Network
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, wind 15 mph
Starting pitchers: PIT – Gerrit Cole (10-7, 3.22) / STL – Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97)
Game 1 of the NLDS dealt a crushing blow to the upstart Pirates, a 9-1 loss to the Cardinals in a game that got out of hand early. It is just one game, but the momentum St. Louis now carries into Game 2 is quite the situation for rookie Gerrit Cole to step into.
Cole, a former first overall pick, has been excellent through 19 starts for the Pirates this year, enough to earn the nod this early in a playoff series. He’ll face off against third year pro Lance Lynn who hasn’t been reliable this year for the Cards, but did win 15 games thanks to the best run support in the National League. Lynn has made 16 postseason appearances in his career, holding a 4.50 ERA through 22 total innings.
If Pittsburgh expects to have a chance in this series, they’ll have to limit the damage when the Cardinals are at the plate. In Thursday’s opener, all but one player in their starting lineup – Daniel Descalso – reached base. Even pitcher Adam Wainwright walked and scored a run.
ALDS: TAMPA BAY RAYS (92-71) vs. BOSTON RED SOX (97-65)
Where: Fenway Park in Boston, MA
Gametime: 3:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees, wind 4 mph
Starting pitchers: TB – Matt Moore (17-4, 3.29) / BOS – Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75)
In this American League Division Series we have two teams that know each other well having battled 19 times this year as division foes. The Red Sox won 12 of those matchups and outscored the Rays 71-57 overall.
Matt Moore had a rough finish to the season – allowing eight earned runs over his last 14 1/3 innings – but he was tremendous against Boston this year. He won both of his starts vs. the Red Sox, holding a 1.80 ERA with just five hits allowed in 15 total innings.
Tampa Bay will need a good start as the Red Sox carry the best offense in the majors into the playoffs with 853 total runs scored. The Rays ranked 11th in MLB in total offense and they scored 153 less runs than Boston did.
The last time these teams met in the playoffs, the only time, was in the 2008 American League Championship Series when the Rays prevailed in seven games. This should be another good one.
NLDS: LOS ANGELES DODGERS (93-70) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (96-67)
Series: Dodgers lead 1-0
Where: Turner Field in Atlanta, Ga.
Gametime: 6:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, wind 3 mph
Starting pitchers: LAD – Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63) / ATL – Mike Minor (13-9, 3.21)
The Dodgers slowed down towards the end of the regular season, but everyone knows they can be dangerous. They put a stamp on this series in the first game, getting to Kris Medlen early and letting Clayton Kershaw go to work in a 6-1 win.
Tonight Zack Greinke will look to send them back to L.A. up 2-0 in his fourth career postseason start. Thus far he has been horrible in playoff situations, posting a 6.48 ERA with 12 earned runs and four homers allowed through 16 2/3 total innings. He saw the Braves once this year, on June 6, and shut them outthrough seven innings to get the win.
Mike Minor will look to slow the Dodgers lineup in his first career playoff start. Their offense looked like a powerhouse in Game 1 so that will be no easy task. He pitched twice in the teams’ season series, going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA through 12 innings.
ALDS: DETROIT TIGERS (93-69) VS. OAKLAND ATHLETICS (96-66)
Where: O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA
Gametime: 9:30 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees, wind 4 mph
Starting pitchers: DET – Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90) / OAK – Bartolo Colon (18-6, 2.65)
Both the Athletics and Tigers haven’t played since their regular season finales on Sept. 29, a span of four days. That’s a long time for any team, especially after being no-hit as the Tigers were by the Marlins in Miami.
The two reigning division champs meet for the second straight year in the NL Division Series after going five games in 2012. The A’s took the first two games in Detroit last October before the Tigers swept all three once the series moved west.
Max Scherzer gets the start over Justin Verlander after leading the majors in wins. Pitching for Oakland is the ageless wonder, 40-year-old Bartolo Colon.
The Tigers are the defending AL champions, but a banged up Miguel Cabrera doesn’t help their chances against the league’s hottest team. The A’s enter Friday’s matchup having won six straight.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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