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Playoff Watch Thread: 9/30

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Time is getting crunchy, y'all.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
#SensualBaseball
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

First off, a very exciting development from MLB.TV for those of you who will not be able to make it to Safeco Field, or those who have very strong battery life and like to hog the Safeco wifi.

Three games left for all teams with sensible weather response plans. For a refresher on what the schedules look like we turn again to Mr. Booth’s nice clear chart.

It is officially a four horse race. I have heard before that man was created to rule over the beasts, so as the only team with a human mascot in their name, it seems that they should have the inside track on the playoffs. Frustratingly, Fangraphs estimates them to have just a 10.4% chance at the playoffs, but what do they know anyway?

What is certain is that with Toronto’s massive egg laying, there are pros and cons.

Con: Baltimore remains two games ahead of Seattle with three games at the Yankees to play.

Pro: Toronto is now also just two games ahead of Seattle, with three games against a terrifying Boston team fresh off of embarrassed by the Yankees that needs to put on a show while celebrating David Ortíz.

We can now root against both teams, and just need one to lose two out of three. Obviously still long odds, but a maybe a bronze lining.

To the matchups!

Orioles at Yankees - 4:05 PM PT

Happy Pineda Day, folks. Yovani Gallardo will start for Baltimore against the pinstriped former Mariner. Pineda has struck out over 10 hitters per 9 innings this year and has a 3.66 FIP, over a run below his ERA. This game will be played inside the crackerjack box that is Yankee Stadium, but such a situation seems to favor the team with the more strikeout-happy hurler, and that is New York.

Today's Lineups

BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
Adam Jones - CF Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
Hyun Soo Kim - LF Chase Headley - 3B
Manny Machado - 3B Gary Sanchez - C
Mark Trumbo - DH Brian McCann - DH
Matt Wieters - C Mark Teixeira - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Didi Gregorius - SS
J.J. Hardy - SS Aaron Hicks - RF
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Mason Williams - LF
Michael Bourn - RF Ronald Torreyes - 2B
Yovani Gallardo - RHP Michael Pineda - RHP

FiveThirtyEight Projection: 58% Yankees Win.

Blue Jays at Red Sox - 4:10 PM PT

Winzz leader Rick Porcello has been the beneficiary of a Galactus-type offense, but he has also been excellent, and leads the league (among qualified pitchers, sorry Clayton Kershaw) with an impressive 6.1 K/BB ratio. He’ll face Marco Estrada, who summarily silenced the Mariners a few weeks ago, but has been mortal in four starts against Boston this year.

Today's Lineups

TORONTO BLUE JAYS BOSTON RED SOX
Ezequiel Carrera - LF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Brock Holt - 3B
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Mookie Betts - RF
Jose Bautista - RF David Ortiz - DH
Russell Martin - C Hanley Ramirez - 1B
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Xander Bogaerts - SS
Justin Smoak - 1B Jackie Bradley - CF
Kevin Pillar - CF Sandy Leon - C
Devon Travis - 2B Andrew Benintendi - LF
Marco Estrada - RHP Rick Porcello - RHP

FiveThirtyEight Projection: 61% Boston Win.

Tigers at Braves - 4:35 PM PT

The third and final game of note is the game expected to be the best chance for the BARVES to steal a game from Detroit. I was very proud of myself for knowing the first name of the Braves’ starting pitcher, Matt Wisler, which may indicate the situation here. Wisler is a 24 year old righty with a pretty solid fastball and slider, but a few other pitches that have not worked well for him. Freddie Freeman will be looking to extend his 30 game hitting streak, and I would like that very much for him because he seems like a nice guy who is sticking it out with his lousy team and don’t we all know a little bit about that. Young lefty Derek Norris will oppose him. He’s a former second round pick who is from Science Hill High School, which is fun. Likely due to a combination of pitch count management and Ariel Miranda Syndrome, Norris has yet to surpass 6.1 IP in any of his 12 starts, so hopefully Atlanta can make him work early and often.

Today's Lineups

DETROIT TIGERS ATLANTA BRAVES
Ian Kinsler - 2B Ender Inciarte - CF
Cameron Maybin - CF Adonis Garcia - 3B
Miguel Cabrera - 1B Freddie Freeman - 1B
J.D. Martinez - RF Matt Kemp - LF
Justin Upton - LF Nick Markakis - RF
Nick Castellanos - 3B Tyler Flowers - C
James McCann - C Dansby Swanson - SS
Jose Iglesias - SS Daniel Castro - 2B
Daniel Norris - LHP Matt Wisler - RHP

FiveThirtyEight Projection: 49% Braves Win.

Welcome to the Bizarre Weekend.

Go Bahstahn. Go Yankees, ya jagoffs. I do declare, Go Braves. Idk y’all.

Go M’s.