Christian Yelich
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Here’s what Sunday means for NL postseason contenders

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The Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, and Rockies are all headed to the playoffs this fall, but Saturday’s games came and went without clear winners established in the National League Central or the National League West. If all four teams pull ahead with wins on Sunday, they’ll force two tiebreakers on Monday when the Cubs host the Brewers for the NL Central title and the Rockies travel west to meet the Dodgers in Los Angeles for the NL West championship.

The losers of the tiebreakers, naturally, will face each other in the Wild Card Game, with the winner scheduled to face off against the highest-seeded division winner in the National League Division Series. The other half of the NLDS will feature the remaining team against the Braves.

The Cubs entered Saturday with a one-game advantage over the Brewers, but dropped a 2-1 squeaker to the Cardinals early in the afternoon and watched the Brewers defeat the Tigers 6-5 to close the gap at the top of the NL Central. Everything will hinge on Game 162, when the Cubs will send left-hander Mike Montgomery up against St. Louis righty Jack Flaherty at 3:20 PM EDT and the Brewers will hang their hopes on Gio Gonzalez over the Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull at 3:10 PM EDT. Should the Cubs gain the edge over their division rival, it’ll mark their third division title in a row and eighth overall (sixth since moving to the NL Central). Should luck falls to the Brewers, on the other hand, it’ll mark their third division title (second since they moved to the National League in 1998) and first since 2011.

Over in the NL West, the Rockies and Dodgers will try to grab a foothold atop the division as they round out their final series against the Nationals and Giants, respectively. After dropping a 12-2 heartbreaker to the Nationals on Saturday night, the Rockies will send Tyler Anderson out against Washington rookie Erick Fedde at 3:10 PM EDT. The Dodgers, meanwhile, will roll with southpaw Rich Hill against Giants’ lefty Andrew Suarez at 3:05 PM EDT. A win for the Dodgers (and loss for the Rockies) would hand them their sixth straight division title and 17th in the NL West. For the Rockies, a division championship would be even more significant, as they’ve yet to clinch a single title in their 26-year history.

Brian Anderson suffers hand fracture on a hit-by-pitch

Brian Anderson
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Marlins infielder/outfielder Brian Anderson departed Friday’s 19-11 win over the Phillies with a left hand contusion, the club announced. Following an X-ray, it was then revealed that he had sustained a fracture of the fifth metacarpal — an injury severe enough that it’ll likely keep him off the field for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Anderson suffered the injury on a hit-by-pitch in the third inning. On the first pitch of the at-bat, with the bases loaded and one out, he took a 93.9-m.p.h. fastball off his left hand. The HBP forced in a run, but he doubled over in pain and was quickly examined by a member of the Marlins’ staff before officially departing the game in the top of the fourth.

It’s an unfortunate way to end Anderson’s third campaign with the Marlins. The 26-year-old has posted some career-high numbers this year, reaching the 20-homer mark for the first time and batting a healthy .261/.342/.468 with an .810 OPS and 3.0 fWAR through 510 PA. Despite the setback, he should be fully healed and ready to go well in advance of the Marlins’ spring training in 2020.