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.