With Major League Baseball going to a new playoff format this season, and adding another wild card team, there’s a lot of changes. In these best-of-three series, there’s no margin for error, as a team could go home on Saturday night. The outcomes of these two series will determine who will move on to take on the red-hot Atlanta Braves, or the team with the best record in baseball this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Let’s preview Game 2 of both series so you can get ready to bet against their MLB Lines.
MLB National League Wild Card Series Game 2 Previews
Philadelphia Phillies @ St. Louis Cardinals
While no one was really sure who the Cardinals would send to the mound in Game 1 of their playoff series with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis threw everyone a curveball. They elected to send Jose Quintana to the mound. Quintana had been released earlier in the season, and when he came to the Cardinals, he seemed to turn things around. With that being said, it looks as though Miles Mikolas will take the mound in Game 2.
Mikolas went 12-13 during the regular season, sporting a 3.29 ERA for the season. Mikolas pitched well over the last few weeks, and was the Cardinals‘ best starter during their stretch run. He’ll be ready to go in front of one of the best sets of baseball fans in the world.
Philadelphia didn’t hesitate when announcing their first two starters. Zack Wheeler had been set to start Game 1, with Aaron Nola taking the hill in Game 2. Nola was 11-13 with a 3.25 ERA this season. In his 205 innings pitched, he struck out 235 batters. Nola has been one of the top starters in the National League over the past few seasons. If Wheeler pitches well in Game 1 and the Phillies come out with a win, the Cardinals could be in for a rough one in Game 2.
San Diego Padres @ New York Mets
This one could turn into a chess match. The Game 2 pitching matchups will probably depend on the outcome of Game 1. Let’s say that the New York Mets win the series opener. Does Buck Showalter elect to throw Jacob deGrom out there to clinch the series, or does he throw Chris Bassitt out there and hold deGrom back for a potential series-deciding Game 3? It has been rumored that the Mets may elect to hold deGrom back for the next series, but if it comes down to it, we think we’ll see him at some point in this series.
Win or lose in Game 1, Padres manager Bob Melvin will also have some decisions to make. Right now, it sounds like he’s leaning toward sending Blake Snell to the bump in the second game. Snell was injured to start the season, and when he first came back, he struggled. His ERA during the first half of the 2022 campaign was 5.22. From August 30th on, he had a 1.76 ERA and was a strikeout machine.
If Snell doesn’t get the nod, then we’ll see Joe Musgrove. Musgrove went 10-7 with a 2.93 ERA, striking out 184 hitters. Musgrove always seems to step things up in pressure situations, so we’re not sure where Melvin will use him.