With the 2023 Major League Baseball postseason in full swing, four teams are looking to advance on to the Divisional round Wednesday night, while their opponents are just hoping to keep their seasons alive.
After winning their Wild Card Series openers, the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Philadelphia Phillies are just one win away from inching closer to the coveted World Series. And as was proved Tuesday night, superior pitching may be the key.
Here's a look at where each best-of-three Wild Card Series stands:
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers
(TEX leads 1-0)
After an embarrassing 4-0 loss Tuesday night in front of a measly Tampa Bay home crowd, the Rays hope to get back on track tonight after putting up just six hits and committing four errors in Game 1 against the Rangers. Nathan Eovaldi (12-5) is slated to start on the mound for Texas as the team looks to close out the best-of-three series against Zach Eflin (16-8) and the Rays.
First pitch is slated for 3:08 p.m. ET but Tampa will need their bats to wake up in order to avoid losing a seventh straight playoff game since 2021. A Texas win will advance them to the best-of-five American League Divisional Series (ALDS) against the Baltimore Orioles.
Minnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue Jays
(MIN leads 1-0)
Minnesota's offense came out hot in Game 1 against Toronto, going up 2-0 in the first inning thanks to a 386-foot home run off the bat of the young standout shortstop Royce Lewis. While Toronto answered in the sixth with an RBI single, it wasn't enough, and the Twins were able to squeeze out the 3-1 victory and snap an 18-game postseason losing streak. Minnesota looks to keep it rolling Wednesday afternoon as Sonny Gray (8-8) will take the mound against Jose Berrios (11-12), a former Twin who will surely be looking to keep them off the board and tie the series up.
First pitch in the Twin Cities is scheduled for 4:38 p.m. ET. A Minnesota victory will propel them into the ALDS against the Houston Astros.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
(AZ leads 1-0)
Milwaukee was rolling in the first two innings of Game 1, blasting off to a quick 3-0 lead against the sleepy Diamondbacks. But two homers in the third brought Arizona right back into it, and the slugging didn't stop there. Paired with stellar pitching that held the Brewers scoreless over the final seven innings of the game, Arizona secured the 6-3 victory.
The Diamondbacks will look to keep Milwaukee off the scoreboard Wednesday night as ace Zac Gallen (17-9) will match up against Freddy Peralta (12-10). First pitch in that series is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET. Arizona is looking to advance to the National League Divisional Series (NLDS) against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins
(PHI leads 1-0)
The story was Zack Wheeler Tuesday night in Philadelphia, with the Phillies pitcher tossing 6 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts to keep the Marlins' bats quiet in a 4-1 Philadelphia win. Aaron Nola (12-9) will take the mound for the Phillies Wednesday night against Miami's Braxton Garrett (9-7).
First pitch from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is slated for 8:08 p.m. ET. If Philly can pull off the win, they'll advance to take on the World Series favorite Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
The #Postseason bracket is set!
Who do you have winning it all? pic.twitter.com/8rkr2Wi48P
— MLB (@MLB) October 1, 2023
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