MLB Wild Card Day, Friday 10/5: Cardinals at Braves, Orioles at Rangers

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

It's new! It's exciting! It'll make two fanbases happy, and two fanbases sad. It's the first two wild-card games in major-league history.

Welcome to something new.

For the first time, there are 10 teams in baseball's postseason. Two of them will go home for the winter after today's games, the first winner-take-all wild-card play-in games in major-league history.

Some of you don't like this. Personally, I do. I believe in most cases, the better team is going to win. Sometimes, that won't happen and the team that had the better record in the regular season will stay home, knowing they shoulda, coulda, woulda moved on if only...

It gets more teams involved. It gives two games of drama every year. I like it.

Predictions for Friday: the Braves will dethrone the defending champion Cardinals. Atlanta has won 23 straight games started by Kris Medlen. That doesn't figure to change; the Cardinals haven't seen Medlen this year except for a couple of brief relief appearances back in May.

In the American League game, the Rangers are coming off a sweep at the hands of the A's in which they played poorly. Luckily for Texas, Buck Showalter has made the inscrutable decision to start Joe Saunders, who has started six games at Rangers Ballpark, lost all of them and posted a 9.38 ERA in 31⅔ innings with 13 (!) home runs allowed. Given that and the hot-again Yu Darvish (2.35 ERA in his last eight starts) going for Texas, the Rangers will get their shot to defend their AL title -- against the Yankees.

Here are the pitching lines; enjoy these games. Perhaps the Cubs will get themselves into one of them sometime soon.

I missed seven of the 10 playoff teams in my preseason prediction post -- but I did pick the Tigers to beat the Giants in the World Series. That one, I'm sticking with:

Wild card games: Braves over Cardinals; Rangers over Orioles

NLDS: Nationals over Braves, Giants over Reds
ALDS: Tigers over Athletics, Yankees over Rangers

NLCS: Giants over Nationals
ALCS: Tigers over Yankees

World Series: Tigers over Giants

Here are the 2012 season stats for Friday's pitchers:


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Kyle Lohse 16-3 34 33 0 0 0 0 211.0 192 74 67 19 38 143 2.86 1.09


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Kris Medlen 10-1 50 12 2 1 1 1 138.0 103 26 24 6 23 120 1.57 .91


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Joe Saunders 3-3 7 7 0 0 0 0 44.2 49 20 18 4 8 23 3.63 1.28


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Yu Darvish 16-9 29 29 0 0 0 0 191.1 156 89 83 14 89 221 3.90 1.28

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

Today's games are on TBS.

MLB.com Gameday for Cardinals/Braves. Game time: 4 p.m. CDT. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Ron Darling, Joe Simpson and Tom Verducci

MLB.com Gameday for Orioles/Rangers. Game time: 7:30 p.m. CDT. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, John Smoltz, Cal Ripken and Craig Sager

This will be the only thread for today's games; if it gets too slow, post another one in the fanshot area. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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