Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wild Card Races Tied

It has been 161 games and nothing has been decided in either wild card race.  The Red Sox managed a win against the Orioles, while the Rays beat the Yankees to stay tied in the AL.  In the NL, the Braves were beaten again by the Phillies and the Cardinals took advantage, besting the Astros 13-6.  Now, everything comes down to game 162.  It has been six months since the beginning of the season, yet the Sox and Rays are deadlocked at 90 wins and the Braves and Cardinals have both accumulated 89.  For all the critics who complain about the length of the MLB season, this shows that every single game is important.

On the last day of the season, both the Sox and the Rays will trot their aces out to the mound in hopes of avoiding a one-game playoff.  Jon Lester, who has lost his last three starts, will look to rebound and shut down the Orioles in the season finale.  David Price will take the mound for the Rays at Tropicana Field, where he has struggled this season (he has a 4-9 record at home in 17 starts).  Both the Braves and Cardinals will also have reliable starters on the last day of the season.  Tim Hudson will hope to keep the Phillies from a franchise-best 102 win, while Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter will hope to continue his success against the Astros (he holds a 2.79 career ERA against Houston).

Tomorrow's Games:

Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 ET
Key for the Sox: Lester needs to come out strong and deliver a statement on the hill.

Yankees at Rays, 7:10 ET
Key for the Rays: The Rays offense need to provide run support for Price, who has a losing record at home despite a 3.45 ERA at Tropicana Field.

Phillies at Braves, 7:10 ET
Key for the Braves: Atlanta needs their offense to show up to the park.  It has been terrible in the first two games of the series.

Cardinals at Astros, 8:05 ET
Key for the Cardinals: Albert Pujols has been quiet in the series so far, but a big game from him could push the Cardinals to victory.

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