Skip to content

Wednesday’s Wild Card matchup preview

Sep 28, 2011, 1:31 AM EST

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Getty Images

161 games down. One to go. And we have ties for the Wild Card in both the American League and National League. Is this fun or what? OK, well for most of us, anyway.

Here’s what to look for in Wednesday’s matchups:

American League Wild Card

Boston – Jon Lester (15-9, 3.49 ERA)
Baltimore – Alfredo Simon (4-9, 4.85 ERA)

New York – TBA
Tampa Bay – David Price (12-13, 3.35 ERA)

The Red Sox (90-71) and Rays (90-71) remain tied for the AL Wild Card after both teams won Tuesday night.

Jon Lester will be starting on three days’ rest Wednesday for the third time in his career. He threw just 55 pitches in his last outing Saturday against the Yankees, when he was chased for a season-high eight runs over 2 2/3 innings. The southpaw has allowed four runs or more in each of his last three starts. Simon is coming off a solid start against the Tigers last week, allowing three runs over eight innings, but has a 6.52 ERA in five starts this month. He gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings in his only appearance against the Red Sox this season back on July 9.

The Rays are in pretty good shape Wednesday, even though it isn’t confirmed who they’ll be facing. Either way, the Yankees are expected to rely heavily on their bullpen, primarily with pitchers who will not be on the postseason roster. However, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is expected to have most of his regulars in the starting lineup, at least for a couple of innings. David Price is winless over his last five starts, but has a 3.03 ERA this month and a 2.86 ERA since the All-Star break. He is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA and a 17/8 K/BB ratio in four starts against the Bombers this season.

If the Red Sox and Rays remain tied following Wednesday’s action, they will meet a one-game playoff Thursday at 4:07 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. Nothing official yet, but the Rays would likely use Jeff Niemann or possibly Matt Moore while the Red Sox could go with either John Lackey or Tim Wakefield.

National League Wild Card

Philadelphia – Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.03 ERA)
Atlanta – Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23 ERA)

St. Louis – Chris Carpenter (10-9, 3.59 ERA)
Houston –  Brett Myers (7-13, 4.31 ERA)

The Braves (89-72) and Cardinals (89-72) are now in a flat-footed tie for the Wild Card after Atlanta lost Tuesday night and St. Louis beat up on the Astros.

After starting the final game of the regular season to help secure the Wild Card last year, Tim Hudson will attempt to do it again Wednesday. He allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings in his last start Friday against the Nationals before leaving due to a cramp near his neck. The veteran right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in three starts against the Phillies this season. Joe Blanton, who is currently auditioning for a spot in the bullpen for the postseason, is making his first start since May 14. However, he is only expected to go a couple of innings. While this sounds like advantage Braves, Cole Hamels and Vance Worley could also see some work Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals will turn to their de facto ace Chris Carpenter with the season on the line. The veteran right-hander has been excellent recently, posting a 1.45 ERA and 21/6 K/BB ratio over his last four starts. He took a no-decision in his lone start against the Astros this season back on July 27, allowing two runs over seven innings. Brett Myers has been equally brilliant lately, allowing exactly one earned run in each of his last five starts dating back to late-August. He has a 5.14 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals this season. One significant development to watch is that Matt Holliday won’t start after aggravating an injury to his right hand, though his replacement Allen Craig did homer and drive in four runs in Tuesday’s victory.

If the Braves and Cardinals remain tied following Wednesday’s action, they will meet in a one-game playoff Thursday at 8:07 p.m. ET at Busch Stadium. The Braves would use Brandon Beachy while the Cardinals would counter with Kyle Lohse.

Latest Posts
  1. Phil Coke to settle on a team by tomorrow

    Mar 5, 2015, 9:12 AM EST

    phil coke getty Getty Images

    Or, more accurately, a team is to settle for Phil Coke tomorrow.

  2. It’s like the New York Post isn’t even trying anymore

    Mar 5, 2015, 7:53 AM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP

    I guess it’s spring training for tabloid headline writers too.

  3. Angels, Huston Street expected to exchange offers soon

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:59 PM EST

    huston street getty Getty Images

    MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez has an update on the ongoing extension negotiations between Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and veteran closer Huston Street …

  4. Ji-Man Choi suffered a fractured right fibula

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:13 PM EST

    ji-man choi getty Getty Images

    The Mariners won their Cactus League opener Wednesday against the Padres, but it was not a totally problem-free afternoon in Peoria, Arizona.

  5. Suspending Josh Hamilton for a year would be obscene

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:26 PM EST

    josh hamilton getty Getty Images

    Suspending Hamilton for a year would serve no purpose punitive systems are designed to serve. And would most likely not serve Josh Hamilton at all.

  6. Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:52 PM EST

    josh hamilton angels getty Getty Images

    A four-person panel appointed by Major League Baseball to decide how Josh Hamilton should be handled following his recent relapse that involved at least cocaine has reportedly reached a stalemate.

  7. Rays sign reliever Jim Miller to minor league deal

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:04 PM EST

    jim miller getty Getty Images

    The deal includes an invitation to the major league side of spring training, though Miller seems doubtful to win a spot on Tampa Bay’s Opening Day roster.

  8. Tim Collins leaves spring debut with tight left elbow

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:21 PM EST

    tim collins getty Getty Images

    Royals reliever Tim Collins missed time last season with a flexor strain in his left elbow and again had an issue with the joint Wednesday in his 2015 Cactus League debut …

  9. Joc Pederson goes 2-for-2 in Cactus League debut

    Mar 4, 2015, 7:17 PM EST

    joc pederson getty Getty Images

    It was an enjoyable first day of Cactus League competition for Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson.

  10. Masahiro Tanaka expected to make his 2015 Grapefruit League debut on March 12

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:22 PM EST

    tanaka getty Getty Images

    He successfully rehabbed a torn UCL in his right elbow last season and the Yankees’ fingers remain crossed that the 26-year-old from Japan will be able to avoid Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery.

  11. Billy Bean responds to Daniel Murphy’s comments

    Mar 4, 2015, 4:18 PM EST

    Billy Bean

    While it’s clear that the two do not see eye to eye, Billy Bean is choosing to look on the bright side of yesterday’s comments from Daniel Murphy.

  12. Meanwhile, they’ll be serving churro dogs at Chase Field this year

    Mar 4, 2015, 3:20 PM EST

    diamondbacks logo alternate

    What’s a churro dog, you ask? Click, my pretties. Click!

  13. Athletes should be treated fairly by the press. Even if they’re not friendly to the press.

    Mar 4, 2015, 1:26 PM EST

    press hat

    Athletes oftentimes, don’t see reporters as people. Reporters, oftentimes, don’t see athletes as people. Reporters, however have a duty of objectivity athletes don’t have.

  14. A’s announce Coco Crisp is moving to left field

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:47 AM EST

    coco crisp getty Getty Images

    The move leaves Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld to platoon in center field.

  15. Phillies don’t expect Chad Billingsley to be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:20 AM EST

    Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Getty Images

    Billingsley hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since way back in April of 2013.

  16. Now that he’s released, who pays for Joel Hanrahan’s surgery?

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:05 AM EST

    Joel Hanrahan Getty Getty Images

    Today’s news sucks for Joel Hanrahan, but it’s a good basis for an explainer.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Upton (2529)
  2. M. Saunders (2266)
  3. A. Simmons (2067)
  4. V. Martinez (1985)
  5. F. Rodriguez (1965)