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|.2......... 34 FL||8422.5|
|Hung Like A Horse...Fly||8261.5|
|Trump and Trumper||8028.5|
|Best Balls of Fury||7971.5|
Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes will take the ball for the Brew Crew in Game 1 of the wild-card series on Tuesday against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. He'll be opposed by rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt. With Brandon Woodruff (shoulder) now unavailable to pitch in this series due to injury, the Brewers will need Burnes and Freddy Peralta to step up. The 28-year-old Burnes has been solid all year for Milwaukee, going 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA (3.81 FIP), league-low 1.07 WHIP, 66 walks and 200 strikeouts in 193 2/3 innings over 32 starts. The three-time All-Star (each of the last three years) allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits (one homer) while walking just two and striking out 11 in 13 innings in his two starts against Arizona this year.
Atlanta Braves infielder/outfielder Ehire Adrianza elected free agency on Monday after clearing waivers and being removed from the team's 40-man roster last week. Because of elbow and shoulder injuries, Adrianza missed most of the 2023 season and managed to play in only five games for Atlanta, going hitless in 11 plate appearances with a walk and four strikeouts. In 15 games for Triple-A Gwinnett and High-A Rome, he went 10-for-47 (.213) with no home runs, four RBI, a steal and four runs scored. The 34-year-old veteran utilityman will likely have to settle for a minor-league deal on the free-agent market this winter.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan will start Game 3 of the wild-card series against the Blue Jays if the series lasts that long, per Star Tribune's Bobby Nightengale. Ryan would face Chris Bassitt on the other side. The 27-year-old had a very strong start to the season but was once again plagued by home runs issues and finished with an 11-10 record, a 4.51 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, a 29.3% strikeout rate, and a 1.78 HR/9 rate in 29 starts over 161 2/3 innings pitched. Ryan only faced the Blue Jays once during the regular season, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts over six IP.
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola will start Game 2 against the Marlins in Wednesday's wild-card matchup. Braxton Garrett will oppose him on the mound. The 30-year-old continued his string of inconsistent seasons in 2023, going 12-9 with a 4.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 25.5% strikeout rate in 32 starts over 193 2/3 innings pitched. He faced the Marlins three times during the regular season and did not fare well, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) in 16 IP with 18 strikeouts, no walks, and five home runs.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly is in line to start Game 3 of the wild-card series on Thursday on the road against the Brewers if it is needed. His potential opposing starter has not yet been named. The veteran compiled his second consecutive strong season, going 12-8 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 25.9% strikeout rate in 30 starts over 177 2/3 innings pitched. Kelly faced the Brewers twice during the regular season, allowing four runs in 13 IP with 14 strikeouts and five walks.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen is slated to start Game 2 of the wild-card series on Wednesday on the road against the Brewers. His opposing starter has not yet been named. The 28-year-old had a solid season overall, going 17-9 with a 3.47 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 26.0% strikeout rate in 34 starts over 210 innings pitched. However, his second half was not as strong with a 4.03 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 25.4% ERA in 15 starts. Both of Gallen's starts against the Brewers in the regular season came in the first half, in which he allowed a single run over 14 IP with 15 strikeouts and two walks.
Minnesota Twins outfielder/designated hitter Byron Buxton (knee) is less likely to be on the roster for the wild-card series against the Toronto Blue Jays, which begins on Tuesday. He's been out since Aug. 1 with a right-hamstring strain/sore knee. Buxton has gone 2-for-14 with six strikeouts over separate minor-league rehab assignments since then, but he just hasn't made enough consistent progress and he wasn't on the field for the team's workout on Monday. "He's been down for an extended period of time," president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. "At this stage, that decision is gonna be made a little bit more broadly around kinda readiness, how it fits on a roster, what it looks like, ultimately for us."
Minnesota Twins infielder Royce Lewis (hamstring) and shortstop Carlos Correa (foot) are both expected to be on the team's 26-man roster for the wild-card series against the Toronto Blue Jays, which begins on Tuesday. Both players have been out of the lineup for the better part of two weeks, Lewis with a Grade 1 left-hamstring strain and Correa with plantar fasciitis. Team sources suggest that Lewis will likely be limited to designated hitter. Lewis is feeling good at the plate, but he still hasn't run at 100% and is clearly not at full strength. Correa last played a day before Lewis on Sept. 18 after feeling a pop in his left heel. He was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis back in May, but acknowledged the time off has been beneficial. Having both Lewis and Correa available will be a big boost, but it remains to be seen how productive they'll be while battling through their respective injuries.
Texas Rangers left-hander Jordan Montgomery will get the ball for the Rangers in Game 1 of the wild-card series on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Montgomery, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals, was great in the second half of the year for the Rangers with a 4-2 record, 2.79 ERA (3.27 FIP), 1.09 WHIP, 13 walks and 58 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings over 11 starts. The 30-year-old southpaw is the obvious ace of the pitching staff in Texas with Max Scherzer (shoulder) unavailable for the wild-card series. Montgomery did not face the Rays at all in the 2023 regular season. He got off to a rough start in September, but he allowed just two earned runs with five walks and 22 K's over 27 innings in his final four starts heading into the postseason.
Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Jose Berrios will start Game 2 of the wild-card series against his former team, the Minnesota Twins, on Wednesday. Right-hander Kevin Gausman will kick off the series on Tuesday in Game 1. The 29-year-old Berrios is coming into the playoffs looking to rebound after allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits (two homers) while walking three and striking out 16 in 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts of the regular season, both against the New York Yankees. In his lone start against Minnesota this year way back on May 28, Berrios got the win when he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out five, but he also walked five batters. The Puerto Rican hurler went 11-12 on the year with a 3.65 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 184 strikeouts in 189 2/3 frames over 32 starts.
The Toronto Blue Jays announced that right-hander Kevin Gausman will start Game 1 of the wild-card series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. This was the obvious outcome once the Blue Jays scratched Gausman from the regular season finale on Sunday after they had already clinched a playoff spot. An All-Star for the second time in his career this year, Gausman was a starting rotation anchor for the Blue Jays with a 12-9 record, 3.16 ERA (2.97 FIP), 1.18 WHIP, 55 walks and a league-high 237 strikeouts in 185 innings over his 31 starts. The 32-year-old veteran struggled in his two starts against the Twins this year, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits while walking nine and striking out 12 in 10 innings. However, Gausman is coming off 13 shutout innings in his last two starts (both against the New York Yankees).
Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said that right-hander Brandon Woodruff (shoulder) will miss the wild-card series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a right-shoulder capsular injury. "His availability for the postseason is up in the air at this point," Counsell said. It's a major blow for the Brewers as they head into the postseason this week. The 30-year-old didn't pitch in the final week of the regular season, either, and now he might not be able to pitch at all in the postseason for however long the Brewers extend their season. Woodruff only made 11 starts for the Brew Crew this year, but he was fantastic when he was out there, going 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched.
Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said it would take a lot for second baseman Luis Arraez (ankle) not to be in the starting lineup for Game 1 of the wild-card series on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Arraez, who led all of baseball this year with a .354 average (203-for-574), hasn't started a game since Sept. 23 when he sprained his left ankle, but he did come in as a pinch-hitter last Friday. The 26-year-old left-handed hitter should be back for the postseason, but how effective he'll be on a bum ankle remains to be seen. Arraez has led the league in batting the last two years and also has added a career-high 10 home runs, 30 doubles, three triples, 69 RBI, three stolen bases and 71 runs scored in 147 games in his first year in Miami.
The Detroit Tigers expect right-hander Spencer Turnbull to enter the 2024 season as a starting pitcher. "We expect him to prepare as a starter this offseason and show up to Lakeland ready to compete for a job in our rotation," president of baseball operations Scott Harris said. Turnbull only made seven starts for Detroit in 2023, going 1-4 with a rough 7.26 ERA (5.55 FIP), 1.68 WHIP, 15 walks and 24 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched after missing all of the 2022 campaign due to Tommy John surgery. He made eight starts on the farm and wasn't effective down there, either. If the 31-year-old has a regular offseason and shows up healthy to spring training in 2024, he could be in line for a bounce-back season in what could be his final year with the Tigers.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Randal Grichuk went 1-for-5 with a solo home run and a strikeout in the season finale on Sunday, a 7-3 victory over the visiting Oakland Athletics. The home run was Grichuk's 16th of the year, and he wraps up his 2023 campaign with a .267 average (116-for-434) with 44 RBI, 31 doubles, two triples, two stolen bases and 65 runs scored in 118 combined games with the Angels and Colorado Rockies. The Angels acquired him at the trade deadline in early August from the Rockies, but he wasn't nearly as good in Anaheim as he was at the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. In 54 games for the Halos, he hit just .216 (42-for-194) with eight homers, 17 RBI and 25 runs scored in 208 trips to the plate. The 32-year-old has finished shy of the 20-homer mark in each of the last two years.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Brandon Belt is on fire heading into the postseason. In the 12-8 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday in the regular season finale, Belt went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and a strikeout. The 35-year-old has been hot in September and now has cleared the fences three times in the last four games as the Blue Jays head into the postseason. Belt finishes the year with 19 home runs while hitting .254/.369/.490 with an .858 OPS, 43 RBI and 53 runs scored in 339 at-bats in his first year in Toronto. Most importantly, though, he's hit .296 (8-for-27) with four homers, a double, six RBI and six runs scored in nine games (seven starts) in the final month of the regular season while also dealing with an injury.
Oakland Athletics outfielder/designated hitter Brent Rooker went 3-for-3 with his 30th home run, an RBI, a run scored and a walk in the season finale on Sunday, a 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Rooker was one of the few bright spots for a bad A's team in 2023, and he finishes the season with a .246/.329/.488 slash line with an .817 OPS, career-high 30 home runs, 20 doubles, a triple, 69 RBI, four stolen bases and 61 runs scored in 137 games and 526 plate appearances. He made his first All-Star team and bested his previous career-high in homers (nine) by a wide margin. The 28-year-old had a rough stretch in the middle of the season after a white-hot start, but he picked things up a bit after the All-Star break and into the end of the season.
Los Angeles Angels infielder Brandon Drury finished his 2023 campaign on a high note on Sunday by clubbing two home runs in the 7-3 win over the visiting Oakland Athletics. Drury finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Drury missed seven weeks in the middle of the season with an injury, but he still managed to be one of the most productive hitters on the team this year. The 31-year-old veteran finished with a .262/.306/.497 slash line, an .803 OPS, 26 home runs, 30 doubles, three triples, 83 RBI and 61 runs scored in 523 plate appearances and 125 games. He came just two home runs shy of tying his career-high set last year. Drury has one more year left on the two-year deal he signed before the 2023 season.
Oakland Athletics rookie outfielder Esteury Ruiz put a bow on a fantastic year in the season finale on Sunday, a 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Ruiz finished the game 1-for-4 with an RBI, a walk and his 67th stolen base of the year, which broke the American League rookie record for stolen bases which was set back in 1992 by Kenny Lofton. His 67 steals on the year also led the entire American League. In a rough year for the A's in 2023, the 24-year-old Dominican's legs stood out. Overall, he hit .254/.309/.345 with just five home runs, 24 doubles, a triple, 47 RBI, 67 stolen bases and 47 runs scored in 497 plate appearances and 132 games. Ruiz doesn't stand out as a hitter, but for his wheels on the basepaths, he'll certainly be highly valuable in fantasy leagues again next year.
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Sunday that rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt will get the ball for Game 1 of the wild-card series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday on the road. When he's on his game, Pfaadt is one of the best young pitchers in the game, but he's been pretty inconsistent in his first major-league season in 2023, going 3-9 with a 5.72 ERA (5.18 FIP), 1.41 WHIP, 26 walks and 94 strikeouts in 96 innings in 19 appearances (18 starts) for Arizona. In his five outings (four starts) in September, he had a 4.32 ERA and gave up five home runs in 25 innings, but he also walked just four and struck out 30. Pfaadt has yet to face the Brewers and will face a big challenge on the road to kick off the postseason series.
|MIA||Luzardo L (10-9)|
|NYM||Peterson L (3-8)|
|Ben XIII||Sun Oct 1 6:54pm ET|
|Db bb||Sun Oct 1 6:28pm ET|
|.2......... 34 FL||Tue Sep 12 2:27pm ET|
|Best Balls of Fury||Sun Sep 3 5:38am ET|
|Trump and Trumper||Fri Aug 25 12:12am ET|
|Hung Like A Horse...||Fri Jun 9 3:19pm ET|
|Bolt||Sat Jun 3 9:49pm ET|
|I suck||Mon Apr 17 1:17pm ET|
|Sunday WAD||Sun Mar 12 1:48am ET|
|**** yes||Mon Mar 6 10:13am ET|
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