Today we kick off the 2012 Postseason with the two Wild Card Playoffs. The two Wild Card teams from each league will battle it out for those last spots in the division series in a one-game elimination round.
First up, we've got the Cardinals @ Braves. Kyle Lohse will make the start for St. Louis. Lohse went 16-3 during the regular season but had one of his worst starts of the year when he faced the Braves on May 30th. In five innings of work, he gave up five earned runs on nine hits. In today's one-game Wild Card playoff, he will be pitching opposite Kris Medlen. Medlenwent 1-1 as a reliever in the first half of the season and didn't make his 2012 starting debut until July 31st. But since then he has been absolutely brilliant, going 9-0 while posting a 0.97 ERA over 12 starts. Furthermore, the Braves have won each of Medlen's last 23 starts dating back to 2010.
Later on, the Orioles visit the Rangers in Arlington. Joe Saunders takes the mound for Baltimore opposite Texas' Yu Darvish. Saunders hasn't had much success in his career against the Rangers, going 3-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 11 lifetime starts against them. He's been especially ineffective at tonight's venue, Rangers Ballpark, where he has lost each of his six previous starts while posting a 9.38 ERA. Since acquired by the O's, Saunders has gone 3-3 in his first seven starts for Baltimore.
The rookie Darvish will try to make his postseason debut a memorable one by leading the Rangers to the ALDS. He went 16-9 on the season, including a 5-1 record over his last eight starts. However, Texas has gone 1-5 over their last six games in their worst stretch of baseball this season. They went from a four-game lead in the AL West to surrendering the division to the A's in a matter of just one week. This one-game playoff is their second chance to redeem themselves and get a spot in the division series.