The Yankees have hope: they just need to get the series back to Texas

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The Yankees certainly have their backs up against the wall. A 14.6 % chance of winning the series if you believe Rational Pastime. And to do that they have to channel their inner-2004 Boston Red Sox, and that may be simply unpalatable for them. Tough break, ya know?

But hey, maybe their chances are a tad better if they can just steal one this afternoon. Why? Because that sends it back to Texas, and if that happens, recent history — which probably means little, but which is all the hope a Yankees fan can ask for right now — favors them. Check out the home records in the AL playoffs so far:

Rays: 0-3
Twins: 0-2
Rangers: 1-3
Yankees: 1-2

CC Sabathia + the vagaries of small sample size fate are on their side!

(thanks to reader Johnny T. for the heads up on the home records)  

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.