Mets at Royals, 5:00PM PT, TV: Fox
Buzz cut wearers need not apply to this game, not with the Mets’ curly-haired Jacob deGrom going against the Royals’ dreadlocked Johnny Cueto. deGrom has won all three of his playoff starts this postseason, while Cueto has had a mixed performance, winning one and losing one of his three starts in October.
Both bullpens might be in a bit of disarray after last night’s 14-inning marathon.
Kansas City at Toronto, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1
The home team Jays hope Marcus Stroman can continue his good work in the postseason; he’s made two starts, struck out nine and posted a 3.46 ERA. Since they’re down 2-0 in the series, he’d better. The Royals ask Johnny Cueto to pitch like he did in Game Five of the ALDS (8 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs) rather than the way he did in Game Two (6 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs).
ALDS Early game: Texas at Toronto 1:00PM PT, TV: FS1
This is a rematch of the starters from the 14-inning Game Two of the series: Cole Hamels for the Rangers and Marcus Stroman for the Blue Jays. Hamels gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking none in seven innings. Stroman also went seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits, striking out five and walking two.
ALDS Late game: Houston at Kansas City, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1
The Astros start Game One pitcher Collin McHugh. In that game he went six innings, gave up two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out one. The Jays send out Game Two starter Johnny Cueto, who had a rough start in that game but wound up going six innings, giving up seven hits and four runs while walking three and striking out five, retiring 12 of the last 14 batters he faced.
NLDS Early game: St. Louis at Chicago, 1:30PM PT, TV: TBS
Down two games to one, the Cardinals ask Game One starter John Lackey to keep them alive on three days rest. He was brilliant in Game One, going 7 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and no runs, walking one and striking out five. He’ll face Jason Hammel, who’ll be making his postseason debut. Hammel went 11 innings against the Cardinals during the regular season and gave up seven runs. He made four starts in September and averaged 4 1/3 innings in each one.
NLDS Late game: Dodgers at Mets, 5:00PM PT, TV: TBS
The Dodgers’ season rests once again on the shoulders of Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch on three days rest after throwing 112 pitches in a Game One loss on October 9. This will be the third postseason in a row in which he’s started a game on short rest. His opponent will be lefty Steven Matz, making his first start of the postseason. The rookie was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 6 regular-season starts.
Early game: It’s really early. Rangers at Blue Jays, 9:30AM PT, TV: MLBN
Mid-season pickup and playoff veteran LHP Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA) will pitch for the Rangers. He’ll face RHP Marcus Stroman, who posted a 4-0, 1.67 ERA after recovering from an ACL he tore in spring training. The Jays’ Josh Donaldson was hit in the head with Rougned Odor’s knee, but he’s passed the concussion protocols and may start. The Rangers’ Adrian Beltre strained his lower back but hopes to play.
Late game: Astros at Royals, 12:30PM PT, TV: FS1
Midseason pickup Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros. He’s 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA overall this season, 2-6 with a 4.17 ERA for Houston. The Royals counter with their own trade deadline pitcher, Johnny Cueto. He’s 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA overall and 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA for Kansas City.
Dodgers at Reds, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Dodgers send out Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s been spectacular on the road this season. He’s 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA away from Dodger Stadium. Overall, he’s 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA. The Reds counter with Johnny Cueto, a righty with a 5-5 W-L record and a 1.97 ERA. If you see that ERA and say “shouldn’t he be better than .500 in wins and losses?” you’d be right. Eleven of his thirteen starts this year have been quality ones. Either his bullpen has let him down or he’s gotten no decision in half of those starts.
After yesterday’s excitement, the season goes on at a slightly lower level.
Reds at Dodgers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Reds send Johnny Cueto to the hill. He’s 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA this season, coming off a bad outing in which he gave up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Nationals. The Dodgers counter with lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA. In his last start he went six innings and gave up two runs to the Mets, winning 4-3.
In an attempt to get Matt Kemp’s bat into the lineup without harming the defense, Mattingly is going to start him in left field for a while. In eight-plus years in the major leagues he’s averaged four errors per season, and he’s already got that many in just 39 games this year. And that doesn’t count the balls he’s not gotten to or taken bad routes on.
“Here’s where we’re going with Matt,” Mattingly said on Sunday morning after he put Andre Ethier in center for a third consecutive game. “We’re going to start working Matt a little bit in left field. We’re going to continue to work him in center. We’re just feeling like we’re giving him time to really get healthy. Not that’s he’s not healthy, but give him a chance to get all the way back.”
Kemp, who missed only 11 games from 2008-11, missed 145 games from 2012-13 due to injuries. He is currently hitting .264 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs in 42 games this season.
Lineup when available.