Wild Wild West
The Yankees have already clinched a Wild Card berth in the American League, but the final playoff spot is still up for grabs. Houston is just a game up on Minnesota and LA, and the Astros wrap up the season on the road at Arizona. The Angels have their work cut out for them as well, finishing the year with a four game series in Texas. The Rangers clinched a playoff spot by winning Game 1, and they can clinch the division with a win in Game 2 on Friday. The Twins are hosting the Royals, who still have plenty to play for. Kansas City is tied with Toronto for the league’s best record.
Putting on a Brave face
The Braves will wrap up the season at home against St. Louis, and despite a challenging season Atlanta can still finish with a winning record at home. They hand the ball to ace Julio Teheran in Game 1, and the right-hander has allowed two runs or less in six straight starts. He’s 7-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 16 starts at home in 2015. St. Louis will likely be resting players, as they’ve already clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Shelby Miller wouldn’t have any luck at all. He might go down as the most unlucky pitcher of all time. He makes his final start of the season at home against the Cardinals, looking for his first win since he tossed a complete game two-hit shutout against Miami on May 17. He’s 2-9 at home this season despite a 2.63 ERA in 16 starts. You have to think he’s due for a win here at home versus the Cardinals backups in a meaningless game.
* There are currently eight players in the major leagues with 40 or more home runs in 2015. That’s the most since 2006, the tail end of the Steroid Era. Albert Pujols and JD Martinez are well within striking distance with three games to play, sitting on 39 and 38 respectively.
* The Dodgers have a pair of formidable aces, but they head into the post season with a struggling offense. Only cellar dwellers Miami and Atlanta have scored fewer runs in the second half of the season that LA.
* Jered Weaver will start for the Angels in a must win game in Texas on Friday night, but he’s been god awful on the road this season. Weaver is 3-10 with a 6.33 ERA in 14 starts away from home this season, and he was pulled from his last start after five innings because of shoulder soreness.
* Dallas Keuchel will have a chance to become the second 20 game winner of 2015 when he starts at Arizona Friday. It looks like a tough spot for Keuchel though, as he’s 4-8 with a 3.82 ERA in 14 starts away from home. He was torched for nine runs on 11 hits over just 4 2/3 innings in a loss to Texas in his last road outing.
WAG of the Day
Francisco Cervelli’s girlfriend Migbelis Castellanos
The Rangers won Game 1 of this series versus LA by a score of 5-3, falling just short of the total. Low scoring games have been few and far between for the Rangers, who have gone over at a rate of 12-4-2 in their last 18 overall. They’ve also gone over at a rate of 6-1-1 in their last eight home meetings with LA.
* Troy Tulowitzki is set to return to the Blue Jays lineup this weekend after missing the last three weeks with a shoulder injury.
* The Angels lost their closer Houston Street for the remainder of the season to a groin injury, and their bullpen has already cost them valuable points since his absence.
* The Yankees’ visit to Baltimore, the Nationals’ date with the Mets and the Marlins trip to Philadelphia could all be impacted by rain Friday evening.
* Wind is expected to blow in from left field at around 19 miles per hour when the White Sox host the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field Saturday evening.
* The road team is 6-0 in umpire Lance Barksdale’s previous six games working behind home plate. He’ll be calling balls and strikes in Texas when the Rangers host the Angels Friday evening.