It’s the final day of the 2017 regular season. Today, every game starts at the same time. It’s an idea the league concocted a couple years ago to heighten the drama of the pennant races.
The theory was, nobody could back into anything. Used to be, if your team was coming down to the last day, neck to neck with another team, and that team started hours earlier, you might know before your game starts whether you’re in, so you don’t start your ace that day to save him for the playoffs.
Starting all the games at the same time eliminates that.
It also allows for hopping back and forth between games with in-game updates so you get the drama in real time.
The last few years it’s been great. This year, it doesn’t matter because all the races have been sealed.
The Yankees play the Twins in New York Tuesday night for the American League wild card. The winner plays the Indians. The Astros host the Red Sox.
In the National League, the Diamondbacks host the Rockies Wednesday night in the wild card game, with the winner going to the Dodgers. The Cubs play in Nationals.
For the second time in four seasons, no Rangers. That’s the subject of another day. Actually, quite a few other days.
Today, it’s about seeing if Nomar Mazara can get RBI number 100. He picked up 98 and 99 on Friday. Yesterday Joey Gallo broke the 40 home run barrier, with two, to put him at 41.
Today, it’s about seeing if Rangers ace Cole Hamels can close out the season on a high note. The entire Rangers team, in fact. After their longest losing streak at seven games, can they end on a three-game winning streak?
Today is about the drama in the division. A Rangers win and a Mariners win over the Angels, and all three teams finish in a three-way tie for second.
Futility, thy name is the American League West.
Daniel Mengden (2-2, 3.75) vs. Cole Hamels (11-5, 4.10)
Game time: 2:05