Astros, Dodgers try to advance; Yankees, Red Sox play on

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*Extremely Willy Wonka voice*

Shall we roll on?

Well, well well. Three naughty, nasty little baseball teams gone . . . seven good, sweet little baseball teams left. Hurry, please. Long way to go yet. Here’s today’s lickable wallpaper:

Astros vs. Indians
Ballpark: Progressive Field
Time: 1:30 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: Dallas Keuchel vs. Mike Clevinger
Breakdown:

Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole were dominant for Houston in Games 1 and 2. Really, the Indians scored three runs in all and two came via a wild pitch and a groundout. Dallas Keuchel is a different kind of pitcher than those fireballers — sinkers over heat — but the Indians have looked like a team that couldn’t hit batting practice. if that suits the Indians better and they get to him, A.J. Hinch as several well-rested relievers at his disposal. Therein lies one of the many benefits of being up 2-0 in a best-of-five series. Both he and the Indians starter, Mike Clevinger, have a decent amount of postseason experience. This is Clevinger’s first time starting in the postseason, however. Maybe that’ll suit him better, as he has an ERA of 6.43 with nine walks in six relief appearances.

But hey, home cooking fixes everything right? While you consider that, know that the Astros were 11 games better on the road than they were at home this year.

 

Dodgers vs. Braves
Ballpark: SunTrust Park
Time: 4:30 PM Eastern
TV: Fox Sports 1
Pitchers: Rich Hill vs. Mike Foltynewicz
Breakdown:

Before I look at today’s game, in case you missed it, here’s one more look at last night’s game and that Ronald Acuña grand slam . . . that probably should not have happened. Now on to today.

Some credit to the Braves for not rolling over, but their order is still a tall one. Win today, win on Wednesday or else stay/go home. Taking the hill for the Braves is Mike Foltynewicz, who lost the series opener in Los Angeles on Thursday. His outing so short — 50 pitches — that he can go on three day’s rest. Joc Pederson and Max Muncy took him deep in that game. They’ll be happy to see him today, I suspect. For the Dodgers hill is on the Hill. He hasn’t pitched in a game since tossing seven scoreless innings against the Giants eight days ago, so he should be plenty rested.

The Dodgers are not likely to have a meltdown inning today the way they did last night, so the Braves need to find some way to keep the Dodger bats in the park today or else their season is over.

Red Sox vs. Yankees
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Time: 7:40 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: Nathan Eovaldi vs. Luis Severino
Breakdown:

The Red Sox looked like the Red Sox in Game 1, the Yankees looked like the Yankees in Game 2 and now it’s a best two-out-of-three between these two powerhouses. Eovaldi, moved up a day so Rick Porcello could be moved to Game 4 following his relief appearance in Game 1, will be making his first postseason start. Alex Cora would like him to go deep given how much the Sox have used the pen so far, but Eovaldi really does not do deep these days. He is, however, set up nicely to be a modern postseason pitcher as, when he’s on, he can usually give you five innings of dominant stuff. Which, when you think about it, is deep in the modern postseason. Severino comes back after his strong five-plus innings in the Yankees Wild Card game win.

This is the only series marred by notable injuries so far. Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks missed Game 2 with right hamstring tightness. He is expected to play today, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on him. Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland exited Game 2 with a hamstring injury of his own. He’s day-to-day.

Zack Wheeler hits first career homer

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Mets starter Zack Wheeler wasn’t content with just dominating the Phillies on the mound Tuesday night in Queens. The 28-year-old decided to have himself a three-RBI night at the plate, too, including his first career home run.

With the Mets already leading 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Wheeler lifted a first-pitch Zach Eflin fastball out to left-center field, landing well beyond the 370-foot sign on the wall. Wheeler had previously helped his own cause, lacing a two-run double down the right field line off of Eflin in the second inning.

Wheeler entered the night with 22 hits in 194 career trips to the plate. Of his 22 hits, five went for extra bases (all doubles). On the mound, through six innings, Wheeler has held the Phillies scoreless on five hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Todd Frazier broke the game open in the fifth inning, hitting a grand slam off of Drew Anderson to push the Mets’ lead to 8-0. If the Phillies lose tonight, they will have lost five of their last six games.