LEADING OFF: Rockies head to Wrigley for wild-card one-off

A look at what happens on the heaviest Tuesdays:


The Rockies head to Wrigley Field for a surprise showdown with the Cubs after both teams lost playoff games on Monday with the division crowns on the line. Colorado missed its first National League West title in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers, and then quickly escaped to Chicago. The Cubs are waiting for them there after losing to Milwaukee 3-1 with the Red Line Central on the line.

Both teams are asking left-handed ace – Chicago will start Jon Lester and can continue with Cole Hamels, while Colorado gives Kyle Freeland the ball.

Lester will become the first pitcher to start two wild card games, although his first rank among his worst postseason appearances. The Royals scored six runs against Lester during a dramatic rally for a 9-8 win and 12 innings over Oakland in 2014.

Freeland set a franchise record with a 2.85 ERA, including a 2.40 mark at Coors Field. . He lost just six homers in 108 2/3 innings on the road this season, making him the ideal arm on a windy day in Wrigley.


Yankees manager Aaron Boone is expected to name his starting pitcher for the AL wild card game on Wednesday against Oakland. It is a great decision: the young ace, Luis Severino, staggered sometimes in the final stretch, being overtaken by veteran teammates Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ. Severino wants a chance at redemption after picking up one in last year's wild card game against Minnesota: the Yankees joined for an 8-4 victory. There's also this: Happ has made fun of the Red Sox, who await the wild card winner in an American League Division Series.

The A's are expected to counter with a bullpen game, led by Liam Hendriks in the first inning. Hendriks will be the most unexpected postseason opener: Oakland claimed him from the Angels in June, but he has been among his best relievers ever since.


Two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani has moved into recovery mode after having Tommy John Surgery on Monday. Angels general manager Billy Eppler says the surgery went well, with Dr. Neal ElAttrache performing the procedure in Los Angeles. Ohtani was named the American League rookie of the month in September and is one of the top contenders for the American League Rookie of the Year award. Los Angeles plans to use Ohtani as a hitter in 2019, while he rehabilitates his elbow with the idea of ​​returning to the mound in 2020.

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