Unlike the rest of the teams already in the postseason, the Brewers don’t know exactly who their No. 1 starter is. It looks like they may have made the decision today, as they went from listing Yovani Gallardo as Wednesday’s starter to a TBA for the day.
The Brewers have Shaun Marcum starting tonight, so he’s right in line to start Saturday’s Game 1. However, now it looks like he could go Sunday on five days’ rest, allowing Gallardo to slot in first. The complicating factor there is that Zack Greinke hasn’t pitched since Saturday, so he’d be going on nine days’ rest if the Brewers held him back for next Tuesday’s Game 3. Gallardo likely would have been the Game 3 starter had he pitched Wednesday.
So, the Brewers may have a couple of more manuevers left in store. For one, they’ll probably want to get Greinke a couple of innings in Wednesday’s regular-season finale to prevent the long layoff. They could also use Gallardo for a couple of innings then, though that would put Marcum back in line for Game 1.
Really, it all comes down to who they want to start Game 5. There isn’t a whole lot separating the pitchers at the moment. Here are their second-half numbers:
Gallardo: 7-5, 3.20 ERA, 103/15 K/BB in 90 IP
Marcum: 6-4, 3.20 ERA, 55/21 K/BB in 84 1/3 IP
Greinke: 8-3, 2.56 ERA, 98/28 K/BB in 91 1/3 IP
The one thing we can be sure of is that Randy Wolf will start Game 4. He’s 7-4 with a 3.57 ERA sinec the All-Star break.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.