Phillies and Cardinals drew strong ratings in NLDS Game 5

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From the Associated Press, via MSNBC.com:

St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over Philadelphia in Game 5 of the NL division series Friday night received a 5.1 rating and was seen by 8,389,000 viewers on TBS, a National League record for first-round games on cable.

For reference, the NLDS Game 5 played between the Diamondbacks and Brewers at 4:05 p.m. ET drew a 3.0 rating and was seen by 4,592,000 viewers.

The numbers aren’t surprising. Philadelphia is a major media market and the Cardinals have a wide-ranging following. Milwaukee, on the other hand, is baseball’s smallest market and the Snakes are still working on cultivating a dedicated fan base. Add to that the different start times and it all makes plenty of sense.

It’s doubtful that the NLCS between the Cards and Brewers will be a major ratings hit — and the same goes for the ALCS — but more of the same would surely be satisfactory in the eyes of Major League Baseball.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.