By Steven Luker
The MLB Postseason is set and it is time for my wildcard preview matchups and the best of three series for them. We will go over the matchups and perview you them and tell you the teams that are in and who are the umpires for each series.
First matchup is the Minnesota Twins (3AL) vs. the Toronto Blue Jays (6AL).
The Minnesota Twins who won the AL Central are playing host of this wildcard matchup to the third place AL East Toronto Blue Jays. The last time these teams faced off in the MLB Postseason was in the year 1991 in the AL Championship Series game. That was over 32 years ago so this is a rematch of that.
This season both teams are 3-3 against each other in the regular season. The Umpires for this series we have Andy Fletcher who will have home plate game 1 and this is Fletcher’s 4th wildcard game as umpire on first base and will be home plate in game 2 is Adam Hamari this is also Hamari’s 4th wildcard game as umpire and the second base umpire and possible game 3 home plate umpire is Mike Muchlinski he is doing his third wildcard game.
The crew chef of this crew covering third base for game 1 is Dan Iassogna. This will be Iassogna 4th wild card game. In left field umpire Mark Wegner. This will be Wegner 4th wild card game he will be calling. Rounding out the crew is Jeremie Rehak this will be Rehak second wild card game.
Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays
The next matchup we are going to take a look at is the Texas Rangers (5AL) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (4AL) Tampa Bay started the season this year 13-0 the best start for a modern game of baseball. For Texas they have Bruce Bochy who came back from retirement from being the Giants manager.
During the regular season the Texas Rangers won most games vs. Tampa Bay the series was 4-2. The umpires for this series we have behind the plate will be Carlos Torres for game 1. Torres is going to be entering his 3rd wildcard game. At first base we will have Tripp Gibson who is doing his fourth wildcard game as an umpire. The crew chef and at second base will be Lance Barksdale.
Barksdale is calling his 4th wildcard game. At third base will be Adrian Johnson, who is making his third wildcard appearance. In Left Field and Right Field we have two first time umpires in left field will be Adam Beck and in right Field we will have Alex Tosi. Players to watch for in this series are Tampa Bay Rays Isaac Paredes who hit 31 home runs also looked out for Yandy Diaz who leads the team in batting average .330 while pitching for Tampa Bay watchout for Zach Eflin he was 16-8 with ERA of 3.50.
Players for the Texas Rangers to look out for are hitters Corey Seager who hit .327 and 33 home runs. Another hitter to watch out for is Marcus Semien .276 hitter with 29 home runs. The pitchers of the Rangers to look out for is Nathan Eovaldi who was 12-5 with ERA of 3.63.
The next matchup and first NL wildcard matchup is going to be the number 6 NL seed Arizona Diamondbacks and they are going to play against the number 3 seed of NL Milwaukee Brewers. This is the first time since 2017. The last time these teams faced off in the playoffs was in the year 2011. In the regular season the Diamondbacks won 4 out 6 of the games.
The umpires for this match up are going to be behind plate will be Mark Ripperger who is doing his 2nd wild card game. At First base we have Dan Bellino who is also in his 2nd wildcard game. The crew chef of this crew is second base Alan Porter. Porter is doing his fourth wildcard game. At third base we have Mike Estabrook who is doing his second wildcard game. In left field for this series is Chris Segal entering his second wildcard game. In right field we have another first time umpire give it up to Sean Barber this is Barber first postseason appearance.
Players to watch for the brewers hitters William Contreras he is hitting .291 with 17 home runs. Some of the pitchers to watch out for the Brewers are Corbin Burnes 10-8 record with ERA 3.39. For Diamondbacks are Corban Carroll who has 25 home runs and 70 stolen bases. The Pitchers to watch out for the Diamondbacks are Merrill Kelly with a record of 12-8 and ERA of 3.29. Another pitcher to watchout for is Zac Gallen with a 17-9 record and a 3.47 ERA.
Miami Marlins vs Philadelphia Phillies
The last and final matchup is a pair of NL East teams we have the number 5 seed of NL Miami Marlins. They are facing off against last year’s World Series Runner ups Philadelphia Phillies who are the number 4 seed for NL. The Phillies are entering this game when they played the fish in the regular season they went 6-7 and the Fish winning most of the games.
The last set of umpires for the game for this series we have behind the plate is Stu Scheurwater who is entering his second wildcard game. At first base we have Doug Eddings. Eddings is entering his 4th wild card game. The Crew chef of this series at second base is James Hoye who is entering his 5th wild card game. At third base we have Marvin Hudson who is making his second wildcard appearance. In left field we have Jordan Baker who is entering his 4th wildcard game. Wrapping out the crew is another first timer give it up to Edwin Moscoso.
Some of the players with the Miami Marlins to watch out for hitting are Luis Arraez who batted .354 and was almost a .400 hitter this season and trying to beat Tony Gwynn’s record. The one pitcher to watch out for the Marlins 10-9 record with a 3.62 ERA. Some of the Phillies hitters to watch for is Bryce Harper who hit .293 with 21 home runs.
Another hitter for the Phillies is Kyle Schwarber who has 47 home runs. Some of the pitchers to watch out for are Zach Wheeler who has a 13-6 record with an ERA of 3.61. Another pitcher to watch out for is Taijuan Walker who has a 15-6 record and an ERA of 4.38. The last pitcher to watch is Aaron Nola who has a record of 12-9 ERA of 4.46.
In the replay room we have Ryan Blakney, Rob Drake, Nick Mahrley, Brennan Miller.
The matchups are best 3 games winner moves on. The winner of the Twins & Blue Jays will Face Houston. The winner of Rangers vs. The Rays will face the Orioles. On the NL side, the winner of the Diamondbacks vs. The Brewers will face the Dodgers. Winner of the Marlins and Phillies will face off against the braves.