LEADING OFF: Happ gets playoff prep; Snell seeks 21st win
A look at what’s happening around the majors on today:
The Yankees know they’ll be playing in the AL wild-card game on Oct. 3, and J.A. Happ on track to be their starter. New York clinched a wild-card berth with a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in 11 innings on Saturday. Happ, 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA for New York after he was acquired from Toronto, is scheduled to start Sunday against Boston and would be on normal rest next Friday at Boston and for the wild-card game. The left-hander allowed one run and two hits over six innings to win on Sept. 4 at Oakland, New York’s probable wild-card opponent.
ON A ROLL
The Tampa Bay Rays will look to keep their faint postseason hopes alive behind streaking left-hander Blake Snell in their series finale against Toronto. Snell (20-5, 1.97 ERA) is 8-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his past eight starts, striking out 63 over 46 innings in that stretch. The Blue Jays will counter with lefty Ryan Borucki, who pitched eight shutout innings to beat Baltimore in his previous outing. The Rays would need a collapse by Oakland in the season’s final week to earn a wild-card berth. If not, the A’s would face the Yankees in the winner-take-all game.
The Cardinals shouldn’t expect to need an offensive outburst to maintain their position in the NL wild-card race. Miles Mikolas (16-4, 3.01 ERA), who starts Sunday against San Francisco, is 16-0 when receiving two or more runs of support. St. Louis holds the second wild-card position behind the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Colorado Rockies chasing.
Now that they’ve won their first NL East crown since 2013, the Atlanta Braves can start figuring out their postseason rotation. Mike Foltynewicz has been the Braves’ most consistent starter and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in Saturday’s division-clinching win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Kevin Gausman has been solid since coming over in a trade with Baltimore and could start Game 2 of the NL Division Series. Beyond that, the Braves have Anibal Sanchez (6-6, 3.01 ERA), Julio Teheran (16-9, 4.03) and Sean Newcomb (16-12, 4.04). Sanchez can begin stating his case on Sunday when he pitches against the Phillies and ace Aaron Nola.