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Brewers/Nationals Wild Card game: how to watch; poll; open thread

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Fans are split on the wild card format

Cleveland Indians v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Happy MLB playoffs Opening Day! All totals have been reset to zero, and this week’s FanPulse question is about the Wild Card:

Personally I’m split. I love the high-stakes drama of the play-in game, but I’m also often most interested in the teams who are in the Wild Card, who tend to be “outsiders,” and those are the teams I’d like to see more of in the playoffs. I also wonder if playing for a Wild Card spot would be more attractive to teams deciding between competing and rebuilding if it was a three or five-game series rather than just one game.

The Wild Card Games promise to be some of the more interesting matchups in the playoffs. I’m particularly interested in the Rays/A’s, not only because the A’s are division rivals, but because of the clear similarities between the two teams regarding payroll and stadium quality. I continue to be fascinated at the A’s ability to spin themselves as small-market plucky underdogs while the Rays are reviled as cheapskate prospect-hoarders who are the perpetual laughingstocks of the AL East. (That game will be tomorrow at 5 PM PT, by the way.) Fun fact: the only actually small market team in the playoffs is the Brewers (by a lot). Go Brewers, IMO.

But the Nationals will counter with Max Scherzer, one of my favorites to watch pitch (and Mariners prospect Logan Gilbert’s favorite pitcher), and a pair of young phenoms in Soto and Robles. This should be a good one.

The LL staff is split; more of us feel the Nats will win, and we’re about equal on whether or not we’d rather see the Brewers or the Nats win, with a slight edge to Milwaukee. Nick and Grant both cited happiness of close friends in making their picks, and Amanda cited an undying love for Craig Counsell. Eric went petty, voting against both Wolf Blitzer and the Nats to keep the Nats and Mariners tied in zero WS appearances. Gotty: “I just want Max Scherzer to win something,” which is a relatable feeling. Yelich’s absence also determined some votes; Matthew isn’t interested in a Yelich-free crew, and Isabelle believes the Nationals will steamroll the negative space where Christian Yelich should be. That space was largely redoubled by a staff-wide love of Juan Soto, whom Tim regards as his own son. My own affection for the Nats was borne in Brian Dozier being extremely me after drinking 1.5 White Claws this summer:

Poll

Who you got tonight... Cardinals or Braves?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    The Ones With The Arch (Cardinals
    (58 votes)
  • 58%
    The ATL (Braves)
    (81 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who you got tonight... Nationals or Dodgers?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Our Nation’s Capital (Nationals)
    (49 votes)
  • 66%
    Our Nation’s Most Inscrutable Public Transit (Dodgers)
    (97 votes)
146 votes total Vote Now

How to watch:

If you don’t have MLB TV, these games are on mostly-basic cable.

Nats - Brewers: 5:08 PM PT, TBS