LEADING OFF: Cards vs Cubs, Rockies-Nats highlight weekend

September 28, 2018
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FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws to a Washington Nationals batter during a baseball game in Washington. Hendricks starts for the Cubs in the opener of their big season-ending series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, Sept. 28. Right-hander Adam Wainwright will be on the mound for the Cardinals. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Friday:


Right-hander Kyle Hendricks (13-11) starts for the Chicago Cubs in the opener of their big season-ending series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Right-hander Adam Wainwright will be on the mound for the Cardinals. While the Cubs have clinched a postseason berth, they are still in the chase for the NL Central title, holding a one-game lead over Milwaukee. St. Louis, shaken after getting swept in a three-game series at Milwaukee, is one game behind the Dodgers for the NL’s second wild card, with Los Angeles one game back of the Brewers. Hendricks is 4-1 with a 1.37 ERA in his last six starts.


Milwaukee also has clinched no worse than a wild-card berth and will be sending right-hander Zach Davies (2-7) to the mound against Detroit. The Brewers are 4-8 in his starts, and opposing batters have a robust .267 batting average against him, well above the major league average.


Left-hander Kyle Freeland (16-7) is on the mile-high mound at Coors Field for streaking Colorado in the start of a season-ending series against the Washington Nationals. Colorado has won seven straight, matching its longest winning streak this season, and opened a one-game lead over the second-place Dodgers in the NL West.


The Dodgers close the regular season at the San Francisco Giants and start left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3), who allowed four hits over six scoreless innings last weekend at San Diego. In his last outing against the Giants, Ryu gave up three hits in six scoreless innings.


Not much is left to be decided in the AL, where East champion Boston hosts the wild-card winner, the New York Yankees or Oakland, in Division Series opener on Oct. 5 and West champion Houston is home against Central winner Cleveland as the Astros seek their second straight World Series title. New York needs one win or one Athletics loss during the season’s final weekend to ensure the wild-card game will be played at Yankee Stadium. Left-hander J.A. Happ (16-6, including 6-0 with the Yankees) is scheduled to start Friday night at Boston, which lines him up to pitch against Oakland on regular rest. A’s right-hander Mike Fiers (12-7) is slated to pitch Friday at the Los Angeles Angels.


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