In the last day of regular season baseball, four teams, two in the American league and three in the National League, find themselves battling for Wild Card spots.
If nothing else, two ties guarantees a crazy night of baseball, but the matchups themselves are compelling. The Boston Red Sox faces a Baltimore Oriole team hell-bent on keeping Boston from the postseason. The Sox, having lost a wild-card lead to the Tampa Bay Rays that was as high as 9 Games at the beginning of September, will trot out struggling ace Jon Lester (0-3 with a 5.93 ERA in Sept.) on short rest. Meanwhile, Tampa faces a Yankees team with nothing to play for and likely to rest a number of their key starters.
In the National League, St.Louis faces a path to the playoffs that is much easier on paper than the Atlanta Braves (who relinquished a sizable Wild Card lead of their own down the stretch). The Cardinals face a Houston Astros team that was by far the worst in the league this year, while Atlanta matches up against the Phillies, who were the best. But as in the AL, Philly has little to play for, meaning both teams could finish the night with the NL Wild Card still undecided.
In case either race is still deadlocked tomorrow, a one game playoff between the wild card teams will decide who lives on. While this represents the ultimate in regular season excitement, there are four teams fighting and praying that their next game is this weekend.