Today kicks off the 2020 Major League Baseball playoffs. No National League teams play today – the American League gets the full spotlight. There are four games being played, all of which will be hosted by the higher seeded team. The start times are staggered throughout the day.

Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins

This should be a fun pitching match up between Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA) and Kenta Maeda (6-1, 2.70 ERA). The Astros finished with a losing record – who knew it was tougher to win baseball games when you don’t know what the other team is throwing? At 29-31, at least from a record standpoint, they should be the underdogs facing off against a 36-24 Minnesota Twins club. Fangraphs agrees, giving the Twins a 62.5% chance of winning the series. The game begins at 2:08pm ET and will be on ABC.

Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics

Lucas Giolito (4-3, 3.48 ERA) will square off against Jesús Luzardo (3-2, 4.12 ERA) in this one. The White Sox finished 35-25 and in second place in the American League Central, while the Athletics won the American League West with a 36-24 record – the only wining record in the division. Fangraphs has Chicago as the favorites, giving them a 59.1% chance of winning the series. The game begins at 3:08pm ET and will be on ESPN.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

The Blue Jays are probably sending the lead known pitcher to the mound today to begin a game with Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.71 ERA). He’s pitched in just seven, five, and six games over the last three seasons combined at the Major League level. He’ll face off against 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (4-2, 3.24 ERA). Tampa Bay had the best record in the American League at 40-20. While Toronto went 32-28 on the year, they went 4-6 against the Rays during the regular season. Fangraphs gives Tampa Bay a 67.2% chance of winning the series. This game will begin at 5:07pm ET and will be on TBS.

New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians

The final game of the day will see the best pitching match up of the day. The Yankees will be sending Gerrit Cole to the mound to face off against Shane Bieber. Cole has finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting three times in his career and is 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA this season. Bieber finished 4th in the voting last year, and should easily take home the award this season after going 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA for Cleveland. The Indians went 35-25 on the season to tie for second in the American League Central. New York finished 33-27 – after a 10-game winning streak from September 9th through the 19th, the Yankees went 2-6 to end the season in the final week. Fangraphs gives a slight edge to the Yankees, giving New York a 52.8% chance of winning the series. This game will begin at 7:08pm ET and will be on ESPN.

22 Responses

  1. PhoenixPhil

    My preference ideology:
    Non-coastal teams
    Non-cheaters

    TB over Blue Jays, cause ‘merica
    Cleveland over Yankees, because coastal team
    Twins over Houston, because cheaters
    ChiSox over A’s, because coastal team

    LA over Brewers, because cheaters (Braun) are worse than coastal
    StL over Padres, because coastal, even above my disdain of the dirty birds
    ChiCubs over Miama, because coastal, even above my disdain of the Cubs
    Cincy over Atlanta, because because

    • Mark Moore

      +500 … I’m pretty well lined up with that.

      Cincy over EVERYBODY for the win!

  2. Chad James

    Dodgers and Yankees – I really hope lose first round. Hate the disparity of overly high payroll teams.

    Twins over Astros.
    Rays over Jays.
    Miami over Cubs.

    More than anything else, please Reds WIN!!!

    Go Reds!

    • Mark Moore

      +10000 for the first comment. Really would be fun to see both of them tap out in the first round. Doubly so for LA t lose at home to the #8 seed.

  3. RedBaron

    Will be rooting for the Twins and White Sox since we beat both of them to close the season.

  4. 2020ball

    Rooting for A’s, Twins, and Indians today. Jays and Rays are a toss up to me. Watching/rooting for the A’s today since I’m a west coaster .

    • 2020ball

      Giolito is shredding the A’s, perfect game through 6

  5. Mark Moore

    Twinki’s and Athletics are in pretty deep holes …

  6. Mark Moore

    Twinkie’s lost after barfing up 3 runs in the 9th.

    • Mark Moore

      Romo took the loss. 3 unearned, 2 hits and a BB.

  7. Tomn

    I actually wouldn’t mind a Reds – Dodgers NL Pennant series. As tough as the Dodgers would be, how could it not bring back memories of the great rivalry of the 70s.

    Then, either a Reds – Yankees, or Reds – Indians WS would be just fine. Couldn’t really care less about any of the other AL teams at all.

    • Tomn

      Of course Reds – As in the WS would be kind of cool, given that we’ve hooked up 2x there all ready. THis one would be the tiebreaker.

    • Mark Moore

      Dodgers not in Chavez Ravine would be fine. The only advantage they have is coming through the Arlington first round so they play a few more games there while we would be in Houston.

      Reds vs. A’s just like 30 years ago … that would actually be pretty sweet. I wouldn’t mind a Yankees rematch from decades ago … but I don’t think they have the staying power to make it that far.

  8. Mark Moore

    Rays did what the Rays do … kind of amazing year after year, especially with such limited fan support in a normal year.

  9. Amarillo

    My rooting preferences go
    1. Small market
    2. Other teams national media don’t care about
    Rays over Jays
    Indians over Yankees
    Twins over Astros
    As over White Sox

    Brewers over Dodgers
    Padres over Cardinals
    Marlins over Cubs
    Reds over Braves

  10. Doug Gray

    This may not be true. Neither Thursday or a potential Friday game time is set yet. There are multiple scenarios where the times will change.

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    Rooting for a Bauer’s no hitter today – GO REDS!!!

  12. GreatRedLegsFan

    After last night results, and since series are for the best of three, I guess all winners will take the series but only White Sox/As’.