It's evening on the east coast. Do you know what that means? The MLB Playoff schedule is about to come alive as the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates will represent the N.L., taking the field Thursday evening for the NLDS. Find out game times and pitching matchups as the four best teams in the National League will all be in action.
First up, watch the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals at 5 p.m. ET. These two rivals have probably seen each other way too many times, but what other way could they end their season? The Pirates are trying to make a state as the Cardinals have had their fair share for success over the past two decades. While the Cardinals were making playoff runs and creating memorable Octobers, the Pirates were sitting at home; rebuilding.
According to the legends, it took the Creator seven days to create the world. Well, it took the Pirates 21 years to build a team that could compete throughout the entire season. The likes of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin are making a difference in Pittsburgh as they have brought back memories from the early 90's, helping the Pirates get into the postseason for the first time since the Barry Bonds era.
PNC Park is getting action in October, but today, it will be Busch Stadium once again hosting October baseball.
The Pirates will have the ball over to their veteran, A.J. Burnett, while the Cardinals will give it to one of baseball's best, Adam Wainwright
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at 8:30 p.m. ET
The Braves and Dodgers were two of baseball's hottest teams entering September. Though they cooled off, both teams have comfortable leads, allowing them to secure the division with at least a week of baseball remaining in the season. The Dodger were the first team in 2013 to clinch a division, while the Braves became the third after the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.
The Dodgers enter this game banged up, but their starting rotation has been fairly healthy throughout the season and they will give the Dodgers a chance to win. Clayton Kershaw does not need much run support and if the Dodgers can get to Braves' starter, Kris Medlen, early in the game, then L.A. has a very big chance of winning.
The Braves are fairly healthy, though there was some drama after manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to leave starting second baseman, Dan Uggla, out of the NLDS roster. His 22 home runs could not cover up his .179 batting average. Therefore, Elliot Johnson will get the start at second base for the Braves as the team will try to put together a lineup that will strikeout less. Look for Jason Heyward to be the catalyst on offense as he will certainly be the team's leadoff hitter.