Not that there was any doubt, but the Rangers officially announced that C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night.
He’ll be matched up against Chris Carpenter, as both teams are able to arrange their rotations as they wanted thanks to neither LCS going the full seven games. Carpenter and the Cardinals are slight favorites in Game 1, but the Rangers are solid favorites for the entire series.
No word yet on who’ll follow Wilson in the Rangers’ rotation, but manager Ron Washington went with Derek Holland in Game 2, Colby Lewis in Game 3, and Matt Harrison in Game 4 during both the ALDS and ALCS. Holland failed to make it out of the fifth inning in each of his last three starts, so it’s possible he could be bumped back.
Wilson is 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA in seven career playoff starts, while Carpenter is 7-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 12 career postseason outings.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.
Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.