What to know about the MLB Wild Card games

What to know about the MLB Wild Card games

Carson Field, Sports Editor

What to know about the MLB Wild Card games

The Major League Baseball postseason begins with the Wild Card games today and tomorrow. Fans of the teams in the postseason are on edge as they want their team to win the World Series.

The AL Wild Card matchup is between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, while the NL matchup is between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs. The AL game is on Tuesday and the NL game is on Wednesday.

Since the Astros and Yankees both had low expectations going into this season, this should be an interesting matchup. The Astros will be making their first postseason appearance in 10 years, as they have struggled to win more than 70 games in a season the past couple of years. On the other hand, the Yankees have a lineup filled with ex-star players, who were thought of to be too old to play ball.

The Astros are a team who have seen success this season with their surplus of great young hitters. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer have shown to be future superstars in the MLB, as they are all 26 years of age or younger, and have had high batting averages in their young careers.

The Yankees on the other hand, are led by players who have been around a while. Their leading batters include Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez who are all 32 years or older. They have seen success with young pitchers Andrew Miller and Masahiro Tanaka.

Tonight’s pitching matchup is Dallas Keuchel vs. Masahiro Tanaka. I ultimately expect the Yankees to win the Wild Card matchup because Keuchel has struggled on the road, as he is 5-8. Although I don’t think this is the Astos’ year, I expect them to be competing in a few years with their surplus of young talent.

The NL matchup for the Wild Card game is the Pirates against the Cubs. Although this is a Wild Card game, the Pirates have the second-best record in the MLB, and the Cubs have the third-best record in the MLB. The reason they are not in the NLDS is because they were in the same division as the Cardinals, who have the best-record in the MLB.

The Pirates, who were in a 21-year playoff drought before the 2013 season, have proven to be one of the best MLB teams over the last three years, but have not had success in the postseason the last two years. One unfortunate injury for the Pirates took place a few weeks ago, as young star Jung-ho Kang broke his leg on a defensive play.

The Cubs on the other hand, have been a new-look team in 2015 as they remodeled with new manager Joe Maddon. This year, the Cubs are in the postseason for the first time in seven years. Similar to the Astros, the Cubs are led by young stars in Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo. Also, the Chicago pitching staff has been stellar this season as Jake Arrieta is possibly to win the NL Cy Young Award this season.

The pitching matchup for the game tomorrow is Gerrit Cole vs. Jake Arrieta. Both of the pitchers have had phenomenal seasons as Cole was an all-star and Arrieta might win the NL Cy Young. Although the game is being played in Pittsburgh, I expect the Cubs to win their first playoff series since 2003, as they ended their season on an eight game winning-streak. The Pirates would have a better chance if Kang had not broke his leg on a fielding play.