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Post-season Gameday Thread, #7: Four to a finish?

Four division series games again today. But this time, all four series could end.

Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images

10:05 am Astros @ Rays (2-0)

Today's Lineups

George Springer - CF Yandy Diaz - 3B
Jose Altuve - 2B Austin Meadows - LF
Michael Brantley - LF Tommy Pham - DH
Alex Bregman - 3B Ji-Man Choi - 1B
Yordan Alvarez - DH Avisail Garcia - RF
Yuli Gurriel - 1B Brandon Lowe - 2B
Carlos Correa - SS Travis d'Arnaud - C
Robinson Chirinos - C Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Josh Reddick - RF Willy Adames - SS

Zack Greinke makes his first post-season start for the Astros, and has a chance to send them cruising through to the Division Series with a sweep of the Rays. He has something to live up to after the starts of Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in the first two games. They have yet to allow a run, pitching 14.2 shutout innings between them, on just five hits, with 23 strikeouts. We are pretty much seeing why Houston won more games this year than anyone else in the majors. I’ll certainly be pulling for Greinke to keep that going. Sorry, Rays. But I will leave you with his 43-word press conference from yesterday. Never change, Zack. Never change...

12:07 pm Braves @ Cardinals (2-1)

Today's Lineups

Ronald Acuna - CF Dexter Fowler - CF
Ozzie Albies - 2B Kolten Wong - 2B
Freddie Freeman - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Marcell Ozuna - LF
Nick Markakis - LF Yadier Molina - C
Matt Joyce - RF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Brian McCann - C Tommy Edman - RF
Dansby Swanson - SS Paul DeJong - SS
Dallas Keuchel - LHP Dakota Hudson - RHP

The Cardinals find themselves on the edge of elimination after a stunning reversal in Game Three of the series. One out from closing out Adam Wainright’s gem and a 1-0 win, St. Louis closer Carlos Martinez imploded, allowing three runs with two down in the bottom of the ninth. So it is the Cardinals who find themselves starting into the abyss this afternoon, as a result. They turn to Dakota Hudson to keep their season alive and force a Game 5 in Atlanta on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Braves are sending out Dallas Keuchel on three days’ rest, manager Brian Snitker having opted for Keuchel over Julio Teheran. The Braves’ pitcher threw 74 pitches in Game 1.

3:40 pm Dodgers @ Nationals (2-1)

Today's Lineups

Joc Pederson - RF Trea Turner - SS
Max Muncy - 1B Adam Eaton - RF
Justin Turner - 3B Anthony Rendon - 3B
Cody Bellinger - CF Juan Soto - LF
Corey Seager - SS Howie Kendrick - 2B
Matt Beaty - LF Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
Gavin Lux - 2B Kurt Suzuki - C
Will Smith - C Michael Taylor - CF
Rich Hill - LHP Max Scherzer - RHP

After Patrick Corbin’s meltdown, I imagine many fans here perhaps heard whispers in the back of their minds, “That’s why we didn’t pitch him against LA in the 2017 post-season...” He is 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA for the Nationals in the series, and that’s why the Nationals turn to Max Scherzer. He’ll try and stave off elimination, and set up a mouth-watering Buehler vs. Strasburg, winner-take-all Game 5 duel on Wednesday. On the Dodgers side, they have apparently had enough of A.J. Pollock, who is 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts in the series so far. Matt Beaty takes his spot instead. And if you want any evidence strikeouts are irrelevant, LA have fanned 44 times, compared to Washington’s 24, but have outscored them 18-8

5:40 pm Yankees @ Twins (2-0)

Today's Lineups

DJ LeMahieu - 1B Max Kepler - CF
Aaron Judge - RF Jorge Polanco - SS
Brett Gardner - CF Nelson Cruz - DH
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Eddie Rosario - RF
Giancarlo Stanton - LF Mitch Garver - C
Gleyber Torres - 2B Luis Arraez - 2B
Gary Sanchez - C Miguel Sano - 3B
Didi Gregorius - SS Marwin Gonzalez - 1B
Gio Urshela - 3B Jake Cave - LF

Time to see if the Twins can end that remarkable streak of post-season futility, and avoid yet another post-season sweep at the hands of the Yankees. If I were a Magic 8-ball, I’d be saying “Signs point to no.” In their entire franchise history, Minnesota have just two wins over New York, and have lost 12 playoff games in a row, most of them not being close. Over the last nine such contests, they have been outscored by close to four runs per game, 58-23. The Twins haven’t scored more than four runs in any of those, while the Yankees haven’t scored less than four runs in any of those. Still, every streak must end eventually. [Mustn’t it?] So why not tonight at Target Field!