MLB Wild Card Series Day 2

The first-ever MLB Wildcard Series weekend is in full swing. And up to four teams could be sent today.

As the playoff field expands to 12 teams for the 2022 playoffs, four best-of-three series will determine which teams advance to the ALDS (against the Houston Astros or New York Yankees) and the NLDS (against the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers).

Saturday’s festivities begin with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays looking to avoid elimination against the Cleveland Guardians, followed by the Seattle Mariners looking to eliminate the Blue Jays in Toronto. Next, it’s the New York Mets trying to avoid a home sweep against the San Diego Padres and finally the Philadelphia Phillies aiming for a series win over the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Follow the action below throughout the day with start times, pitch matches and tee lineups as they’re announced, followed by in-game updates and meals to take away after the end of each game.

After: Everything you need to know about the 2022 MLB playoffs | The best playoffs…ever? | Ranking Aces (ESPN+) | Parenthesis, results and more

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians (12:07 p.m. ET on ESPN2)

Guardians lead series 1-0

Ray-tracer: Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 10,000, 1.35 ERA)

Initiator Guardians: Triston McKenzie (11-11, 190K, 2.96 ERA)

Starting composition:


To be determined


To be determined

To monitor : After a Game 1 loss, it will be right-hander Glasnow to save the Rays’ season on Saturday. It’s quite a challenge considering he’s just returned to make his first two starts in the stretch (allowing a run in 6 2/3 innings) after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2021. Glasnow and staff of the Rays both say the 28-year-old’s stuff is as good as ever, but he’ll be limited to 4-5 innings in Game 2.

Normally that would be an unusual strategy in an elimination game, but it’s business as usual for a Tampa Bay team pretty used to handing things over to their bullpen. The Rays led the Majors in innings pitched by relievers, and no other 2022 postseason team finished higher than 11th. It’s a feature for the Rays – not a bug.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old McKenzie will take to the mound with a chance to launch Cleveland to their first playoff win since the 2016 ALCS. McKenzie’s ERA is down about two points this season from its 2021 mark , and now he has a chance to follow Guardians ace Shane Bieber’s solid Game 1 outing with one of his own. -Jesse Rogers

Seattle Mariners vs Toronto Blue Jays (4:07 a.m. ET on ESPN)

Sailors lead the series 1-0

Sailors’ starter: Robbie Ray (12-12, 212,000, 3.71 ERA)

Departure of the Blue Jays: Kevin Gausman (12-10, 205,000, 3.35 ERA)

Starting composition:


To be determined


To be determined

To monitor : Few opposing pitchers know the Blue Jays as well as Robbie Ray. He spent last season with Toronto, won the American League’s Cy Young Award, fled to Seattle as a free agent and can now end his former team’s season on Saturday as the Mariners don’t only need one win after their 4-0 win over the Blue Jays. in the first game of their wildcard series. Seattle’s offense quieted a raucous crowd at Rogers Center with three first-inning runs in Game 1, and it will look to touch up Gausman, Ray’s replacement in the Jays’ rotation and Game 2 opponent, first. same. The stakes for the Mariners are clear: with a victory in Game 2 (or Game 3), they will advance to the Division Series against AL West rival Houston and secure a game of play. postseason for the first time since 2001. For Toronto, getting to Ray is imperative. If they don’t, the Jays’ October could be a short one. –Jeff Passan

San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets (7:37 a.m. ET on ESPN)

Padres leads the series 1-0

Titular Fathers: Blake Snell (8-10, 171,000, 3.38 ERA)

Starter dishes: Jacob deGrom (5-4, 102K, 3.08 ERA)

Starting composition:


To be determined


To be determined

To monitor : It doesn’t matter that the Mets have won 101 regular season games. It’s all down to deGrom to help save New York’s season on Saturday. The Mets will need deGrom at the top of his game, with their offense struggling in big moments in recent weeks, including their disastrous final series against the Braves. Even with Starling Marte back in the lineup, the Mets looked sluggish Friday, leaving eight runners on base and failing to capitalize on the momentum they had built on Yu Darvish.

The Padres counter deGrom with Snell, one of baseball’s best second-half pitchers. Since the All-Star break, Snell has the second-highest strikeout rate in baseball (12.12 K/9) among all starters, ranking behind fifth-best ERA Carlos Rodon (2.19), the third best FIP ​​(2.23) and the second highest fWAR. Although Snell didn’t look like a former Cy Young Award winner during his time in San Diego, he’s found his form in recent months. The Mets have their work cut out for them. -Joon Lee

Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals (8:37 a.m. ET on ESPN2)

The Phillies lead the series 1-0

Leaving the Phillies: Aaron Nola (11-13, 235,000, 3.25 ERA)

Cardinal starters: Miles Mikolas (12-13, 153,000, 3.29 ERA)

Starting composition:


To be determined


To be determined

To monitor : The Cardinals need a win to salvage their season — and they might need a closer game, too. Ryan Helsley, dominating all year, was visibly erratic in the ninth inning of Game 1, setting the stage for an unlikely Phillies comeback. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said he “started to lose the feel of his throws a bit,” a byproduct of the right middle finger he got stuck three days earlier. At the very least, it looks like the Cardinals won’t have him for Game 2 — and that could lead them to look to Jack Flaherty, previously hailed as their ace, to pitch in a backup situation. Flaherty was warming up in the ninth inning alongside Andre Pallante, and Marmol continued to pitch Pallante a bit longer than expected in order to save Flaherty for potential use in Game 2.

It might not matter if the Cardinals can’t get to Nola, a perfect example of why a team like the Phillies can be so dangerous in a best-of-three series. The Phillies’ roster is littered with issues, but their roster boasts top talent in Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber, and their pitching team is led by two bonafide aces in Zack Wheeler and Nola. Wheeler held the Cardinals scoreless for 6 1/3 innings in Game 1. And Nola, who pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Astros in the Phillies clincher earlier this week, is perfectly capable of doing the same. But Mikolas, who has a 2.13 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this season, can stick with him. –Alden Gonzalez


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