St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt announced veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright will start the National League Wild Card Game against the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants.
With just three games to go, L.A. is likely to play in the Wild Card as they still trail San Francisco in the NL West race by two games. The Dodgers still have a slim chance to take the division for the ninth consecutive season, though need assistance from the San Diego Padres.
The Cardinals have to feel confident with their longtime ace on the mound, who has rebounded from a few down seasons to anchor their pitching staff.
The 40-year-old has thrown 206.1 innings this season while posting a 3.05 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 3.8 WAR. Wainwright has also struck out 21% of hitters while walking 6%.
The three-time All-Star has faired significantly better at home versus on the road this year, which is good news for either team the Cardinals end up facing.
In 78 road innings over 13 starts, Wainwright has pitched to a 3.58 ERA, but at home, he has posted a 2.74 ERA in 128.1 innings.
He made his debut in 2005 and holds a career 3.35 ERA and 3.43 FIP with 44.9 WAR across 2,375.2 innings.
The 2006 World Series champion has started 15 postseason games and pitched in relief for another 13, while posting a combined 2.89 ERA in 109 innings. Wainwright has never started a Wild Card Game.
Wainwright faced the Dodgers once this season and threw 8.1 innings while allowing four runs on seven hits. He faced the Giants twice and allowed a combined seven runs on 12 hits in 11 innings of work.
The Cardinals clinched the second Wild Card spot after winning a franchise-record 17 consecutive games.
Wild Card Game start time and how to watch
While it is known the 2021 NL Wild Card game will be played in California, the city has not yet been set.
Nevertheless, first pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Oct. 6. TBS will exclusively broadcast the one-game playoff and begin pregame coverage at 4 p.m.
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