LEADING OFF: Rockies vs Diamondbacks in NL wild-card game
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
DUEL IN THE DESERT
Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies face Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke in the NL wild-card game at 8:08 p.m. EDT. It’s a matchup of teams that know each other well. The division rivals share a spring training facility and played each other 19 times this season. The winner of No. 20 heads for Los Angeles to play the NL West champion Dodgers in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Friday. “There’s no secrets here,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We know what they like to do. They know our players.”
ONE DAY AWAY
The Red Sox and Astros work out in Houston ahead of their AL Division Series. Pitching matchups are set for the first two games, with Justin Verlander scheduled to start Thursday’s opener for the Astros against Chris Sale. Dallas Keuchel gets the ball in Game 2 vs. Boston left-hander Drew Pomeranz. “It’s really deciding between two really deserving, really good guys,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “So I didn’t have a lot of stress about it other than we had to pick an order.”
After a wild-card win Tuesday night over Minnesota to start the 2017 postseason, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees will be in Cleveland to prepare for their best-of-five Division Series against the defending AL champion Indians. In a surprise move, Cleveland plans to pitch Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.18 ERA) in the opener Thursday rather than ace Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25). Baseball’s most dominant pitcher for months, Kluber is scheduled to start Game 2. Indians manager Terry Francona said part of his decision to go with the rubber-armed Bauer in Game 1 is so he can use his best pitcher — Kluber — in a potential Game 5. In other news, All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley will be on the ALDS 25-man roster as a pinch-hitter. Brantley was sidelined for 50 games with an injured ankle ligament before returning last week and getting a single in his first at-bat since Aug. 8. Francona said the hope is for Brantley’s role to expand if the Indians advance.
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