clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Division Series Previews

Playoff baseball rolls on tonight.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After a long weekend of Wild Card action, the Division Series kicks off tonight with top eight teams in baseball squaring off. With extra off-days in each series, teams can be more aggressive with their pitching usage, and we should see bullpens be very active in the early going of each series.

The Yankees have their hands full with the Guardians, kicking off tonight from the Bronx, but there will be three other series going on, and you can get primed for each of them with this post. For a detailed preview on the Yankees series, check out Jake’s post.

Note: All game times listed for Games 3, 4, and 5 in each series are subject to change based on how many series are still going on.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves

Game 1: Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs. Max Fried (ATL)
Trust Park (Atlanta, GA)
First pitch: Tuesday Oct. 11, 1:07pm ET (Fox)

Game 2: Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs. Kyle Wright (ATL)
Truist Park (Atlanta, GA)
First pitch: Wednesday Oct. 12, 4:35pm ET (Fox)

Game 3: Aaron Nola (PHI) vs. Charlie Morton? (ATL)
Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)
First pitch: Friday Oct. 14, 4:37pm ET (FS1)

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday Oct. 15 in Philadelphia, 2:07pm ET (FS1)
Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday Oct. 16 in Atlanta, 4:37pm ET (FS1)

Here’s an NL East matchup in the Division Series. We get one of, if not the most dominant MLB team in the second half squaring off with a club that needed a near-miraculous run just to get into the dance. The Phillies disposed of the Cardinals in an upset Wild Card win, riding their strong one-two punch of Wheeler and Nola. Unfortunately, both guys will likely be available just once in the series, as Wheeler only just returned from injury on September 21st and is probably not a short rest option for a potential Game 5.

Atlanta is a tough ask for the Phils. They feature a strong, deep lineup and a pitching staff that was among the four or five best in the game, albeit one with rookie sensation Spencer Strider questionable. The Rookie of the Year finalist has been on the shelf since September 18 with an oblique strain, and while he’ll almost certainly have some kind of role for Atlanta in this series, the nature of that role is up in the air.

Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros

Game 1: Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs. Justin Verlander (HOU)
Minute Maid Park (Houston, TX)
First pitch: Tuesday Oct. 11, 3:37pm ET (TBS)

Game 2: Luis Castillo (SEA) vs. Framber Valdez (HOU)
Minute Maid Park (Houston, TX)
First pitch: Thursday Oct. 13, 3:37pm ET (TBS)

Game 3: Robbie Ray? (SEA) vs. Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU)
T-Mobile Park (Seattle, WA)
First pitch: Saturday Oct. 15, 4:07pm ET (TBS)

Game 4 (if necessary): Sunday, Oct. 16 in Seattle, 3:07pm ET (TBS)
Game 5 (If necessary): Monday, Oct. 17 in Houston, 5:07pm ET (TBS)

If the road to the American League pennant goes through Houston, the Mariners get the first crack. The defending AL champions will kick off the ALDS with the presumptive Cy Young favorite, as Justin Verlander gets the ball for Game 1. Behind him is one of the deepest pitching staffs the game has seen in a while, a corps so strong that 25 year-old Cristian Javier — he of the 2.45 ERA in 148.2 innings — will likely come out of the bullpen.

The Mariners were 7-12 against Houston in the regular season, and they’re certainly the underdogs in this series. The big key in my opinion is Game 1, given that like the Phillies, Seattle won’t be able to ride Luis Castillo twice (on normal rest, anyway). Therefore, stealing a win on a day when Verlander goes puts the M’s in a good position for Castillo in Game 2.

Even with that, it’s hard to see how the Mariners can get through to the ALCS given how deep and dominant the Astros’ arms are. If any team can do it, it’s the squad that came back from a seven-run deficit to eliminate the Jays while on the road, but Seattle is going to have their hands full.

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Game 1: Mike Clevinger (SD) vs. Julio Urías (LAD)
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA)
First pitch: Tuesday Oct. 11, 9:37pm ET (FS1)

Game 2: Yu Darvish (SD) vs. Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA)
First pitch: Wednesday Oct. 12, 8:37pm ET (FS1)

Game 3: Blake Snell (SD) vs. TBD (LAD)
Petco Park (San Diego, CA)
First pitch: Friday Oct. 14, 8:37pm ET (FS1)

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday Oct. 15 in San Diego, 9:37pm ET (FS1)
Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday Oct. 16 in Los Angeles, 9:07pm ET (FS1)

Perhaps the marquee matchup of the division round, the Padres come off their disposal of the Mets to take on the game’s best team. The Padres had a couple different options outside of their big three starters to go to in Game 1, but none of them are all that inspiring especially facing a lineup as deep as the Dodgers boast. In the end, Clevinger gets the ball for Game 1, coming off a spotty regular season with a 4.33 ERA and 4.98 FIP.

LA took 14 of the 19 meetings between the two clubs this season, but then they did that to just about everyone in the sport this year. Like the Astros and Mariners series, the Padres come in very much the underdog, but they were against the Mets as well. None of Darvish, Snell, or Joe Musgrove have ever worked on short rest in their careers, which may limit flexibility as the series goes long.