Tag:NL Wild Card
Posted on: September 20, 2011 3:26 pm

On Deck: Wild card races in spotlight


By Matt Snyder

Follow the game action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard. Also, keep an eye on the updating Playoff Race standings page.

Triple the intrigue: OK, let's set the scene. We have Tim Lincecum (13-12, 2.59) vs. Clayton Kershaw (19-5, 2.30). We also have the Giants trying to make a last-minute playoff run, as they're 3 1/2 games behind the struggling Braves in the NL wild card. On top of that, the Giants are going for their ninth straight victory. It's a triple threat. Just don't expect much scoring. Kershaw owns a career 1.26 ERA against the Giants and a 0.71 ERA in his last seven starts. Lincecum leads the majors with a 2.02 road ERA and has a 1.65 ERA against the Dodgers this season. Kershaw is looking to join Arizona's Ian Kennedy as the only 20-game winners in the NL. Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET.

NL Wild Card: As stated, the Giants are just 3 1/2 games back in the NL wild card race, but they have a team between them on the Braves. The Cardinals are 2 1/2 out -- just two in the loss column. With less than 10 games left in the season, every game is paramount at this point. The Braves will turn to young Randall Delgado (0-1, 3.24) to help right the ship after a heartbreaking loss Monday night. Anibal Sanchez (8-8, 3.62) gets the ball for the Marlins, and that's good news for the Braves. They've battered him (6.39 ERA) the last five times they've seen him. Braves at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, the Cardinals return home to open a six-game homestand. They'll continue to play without All-Star left fielder Matt Holliday, but it may not matter if the pitching continues to throw the way it has of late. Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.71) takes his turn Tuesday night, and he's been great (2.20 ERA in last five starts) lately. Mike Pelfrey (7-12, 4.48) and the Mets will attempt to play spoiler. Mets at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET.

AL Wild Card: The Rays' pursuit of the Red Sox is a hot topic at present, as everyone paying attention knows, but the Rays face a tall order this week. After taking three of four in Boston, the Rays still trail the Red Sox by two games in the AL wild card and now have a four-game series in New York against the mighty Yankees, who sport the best record in the AL. Wade Davis (10-9, 4.41) will start the series opener for the Rays, and the Yankees counter with rookie of the year candidate Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.81). Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET. A couple hundred miles northeast, the Red Sox are hoping to build on Monday night's 18-9 win. Trade deadline acquisition Erik Bedard (5-9, 3.50) will make his first start since Sept. 3. He'll also be taking on his former team, the Orioles, who send Rick VandenHurk (0-0, 6.00) to the mound. Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET.

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