Wild Card Fever: Early Morning Edition

High elbows all around. - Jason Miller

Keeping it real. Keeping it interesting.

Here are the most up to date Wild Card standings, complete with playoff odds from Baseball Prospectus:

Team W L PCT GB %
Texas 81 62 .563 +2.5 91.1
Tampa Bay 78 65 .545 ---- 65.3
Cleveland 77 67 .535 -1.5 23.9
Baltimore 77 67 .535 -1.5 11.5
NY Yankees 77 68 .531 -2.0 8.2
Kansas City 76 69 .524 -3.0 3.1

Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians
James Shields vs. Scott Kazmir

Two former Rays square off in another pivotal start. Yes, it's a "Big Game." Shields has been less than Big of late. The oft injured Kazmir doesn't have the stamina to go deep into games, but he does have his fastball.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Texas Rangers
A.J. Burnett vs Matt Garza

The Rangers are sliding. I've been telling you, both wild cards are in play. That means something.

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Ryan Dempster vs. Alex Cobb

Dempster has been a hot mess with a 6.63 ERA since August 1. Cobb can battle his command from time to time, but has been one of Tampa's strongest starters of late.

New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Andy Pettitte vs. Scott Feldman

Feldman hasn't missed a beat since joining Baltimore from the Cubs, with a 3.63 ERA and a 2.4 SO/BB ratio. Pettitte may be old, be he's not fading down the stretch. He owns a 2.37 ERA over his last three starts for New York.

What we need to happen today, in order of importance:

- A Royals win. Naturally.
- A Tampa loss. Naturally.
- I don't care who wins the Yankee/Oriole game. We will root against the team that wins today tomorrow. The series is currently at 1-1 and we need them to split.
- A Ranger loss. To keep it interesting.

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