Playoff Reset: The NL takes center stage today

7 Comments

After we saw some thrilling action yesterday with all four playoff series, the National League takes center stage today. The Cardinals and Giants are aiming to head home with 2-0 series leads. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Nationals will be looking to rebound after tough Game 1 losses.

As for the teams in the ALDS, they are traveling today and will resume Sunday. The Tigers and Angels are both on the brink of elimination while the Orioles and Royals are one win away from a trip to the ALCS.

The Game: San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals, National League Division Series Game 2
The Time: 5:37 PM Eastern
The Place: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
The Channel: Fox Sports 1
The Starters: Tim Hudson vs. Jordan Zimmermann
The Upshot: The Nationals came into Game 1 as the trendy favorite to win the World Series, but they are now NLDS underdogs. Statistically speaking, at least. Having Jordan Zimmermann on the mound should ease the impulse to panic, though. He had a 2.66 ERA during the regular season and oh yeah, he threw the first no-hitter in team history in his most recent start last Sunday. As for Hudson, he didn’t exactly finish the season on a high note, posting an 8.72 ERA over five starts in September. It’s funny to think about it this way, but the Giants have won an NL-record nine straight postseason games dating back to 2012. If they can push it to 10 today, the Nationals are in some serious trouble.

The Game: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, National League Division Series Game 2
The Time: 9:37 PM Eastern
The Place: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
The Channel: MLB Network
The Starters: Lance Lynn vs. Zack Greinke
The Upshot: After the Cardinals staged a stunning comeback against Clayton Kershaw yesterday, the pressure is really on the Dodgers now. It helps to have another ace up your sleeve and Zack Greinke is exactly that. He has a 2.68 ERA in 60 regular season starts since joining the Dodgers and pitched well during the team’s playoff run last season. Lance Lynn is no slouch either and continues to be overlooked despite putting up some impressive numbers. He posted a career-best 2.74 ERA over 33 starts during the regular season. The phrase “must win” gets thrown around a lot in sports and often incorrectly, so I don’t want to go that far, but it’s very important for the Dodgers win this game and draw even in the series. It would be bad enough to be down 2-0 headed back to St. Louis, but Hyun-Jin Ryu is lined up to start Game 3. He hasn’t pitched in a game since September 12.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.