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NL Wild Card Games 1 Gamethread (Diamondbacks at Brewers, Marlins at Phillies)

Double the trouble, double the fun

It is October, and post season baseball is finally here! Twelve teams vie for a shot at World Series glory, but only one will reach the promised land.

Opening our slate of games on the National League side, we have a matchup between the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks taking on the stalwart Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field in Milwaukee.

Arizona finished second in the NL West with a regular season record of 84-78. Milwaukee plays host as the NL Central Champions, finishing 2023 at 92-70. The D’backs had a a regular season team OPS+ of 98, team ERA of 4.47, WHIP of 1.34 and 4.36 FIP. The Brew Crew’s regular season team OPS+ was only 93, but their 3.71 team ERA led all of baseball and their 1.186 WHIP was second overall. Milwaukee’s run differential (+81) far outshines Arizona’s -15. The Brewers have the home field advantage in more ways than one, despite losing four of six to the Diamondbacks in the regular season.

Your starting pitchers this evening in Milwaukee:

Brandon Pfaadt (3-9, 5.72 ERA) vs Corbin Burnes (10-8, 3.39 ERA)

Bad news for the home team Brew Crew, as the team announced yesterday that starter Brandon Woodruff would be out for the entire Wild Card series, and his status in the postseason is up in the air should Milwaukee advance. It’s a big blow for Woodruff and the Brewers.

Your lineups for both sides:

Tonight’s game starts at 6:08 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN2.

On the nightcap, where the surprising Miami Marlins make only their fourth playoff appearance in team history as they take on last year’s World Series runner-up, the Philadelphia Phillies. Wait, they’ve won two World Series in just three playoffs before this? Maybe we should all be Marlins fans. Miami finished the regular season at 84-77, and snuck into a Wild Card berth as both both the Cubs and D’backs stumbled over the final week of September. The defending National League Champion Phillies finished at 90-72, winning 90 games for the first time since 2011.

The Phillies offense is led by Kyle Schwarber and his 47 regular season home runs, and an offense that featured with six other hitters reaching the 20-homer mark. Their run differential of +81 is tied for fifth-best in the NL with the Brewers. Miami is led by NL batting champion Luis Arráez and his .354 batting average. His first season in Miami is no fluke, having won AL batting title with Minnesota in 2022. Arráez missed Miami’s last seven regular season games with a sprained left ankle, but is expected to be ready to go for Game 1.

Miami won the season series against Philly, going 7-6 overall and 4-2 at Citizens Bank Park, which plays host to this Wild Card Series.

Your starting pitchers in Philadelphia this evening:

Jesús Luzardo (10-9, 3.63 ERA) vs Zack Wheeler (13-6, 3.61 ERA)

Your lineups for both sides:

Tonight’s game starts at 7:08 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN.

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