LEADING OFF: Wild-card chases in AL and NL, rainy forecasts
A look at what's happening around the majors today:
Toronto (at Boston, facing 22-game winner Rick Porcello) and Baltimore (at Yankee Stadium) are tied for the two wild-card spots in the American League going into the final weekend of the regular season. Detroit (at Atlanta) is 1 + games behind, Seattle is two back.
The Mets hold a one-game lead in the NL wild-card scramble as rookie Robert Gsellman starts at Philadelphia. San Francisco (with Madison Bumgarner pitching at home vs. the Dodgers) is one game back, St. Louis (home vs. Pittsburgh) is two behind.
HIT THE SHOWERS
Weather might play havoc with the playoff scramble, with rain in the forecast along the East Coast. Postseason spots and positioning are still up for grabs, and washouts in Boston, New York, Washington and Philadelphia could cause scheduling woes.
WAITING TO HEAR
Washington righty A.J. Cole is slated to start at home against Miami, but is waiting to hear the outcome of his appeal of a five-game suspension for throwing at a batter. The Nationals have won the NL East and are trying to stay ahead of the Dodgers for home-field advantage in their upcoming Division Series matchup.
Cleveland lefty Ryan Merritt makes his first major league start when the AL Central champions play in Kansas City. The Indians are setting up their rotation for the Division Series and filling in with Merritt, who has pitched three times for them in relief.