Major League Baseball Sets Start Time For Oct. 2 NL Wild Card Game

Major League Baseball announced first pitch for the National League Wild Card Game is set for 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 2. It will air it exclusively on ESPN and the ESPN App, with the network’s “Sunday Night Baseball” crew of Matt Vasgersian, Jessica Mendoza, Alex Rodriguez and Buster Olney on the call.

Who will meet in the NL Wild Card Game is hardly set, but entering play Friday, the Milwaukee Brewers are in position to host the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot.

Only 4.5 games separate the top five NL teams: Chicago Cubs, Brewers, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies and Dodgers. The Braves clinched the NL East, while the Cubs and Brewers have at minimum guaranteed themselves a berth in the postseason.

The NL postseason picture won’t become more clear until Saturday at the earliest, when the Dodgers and Rockies could clinch the West, and Brewers and Cubs could settle the Central.

Though, a plausible scenario could see the Dodgers and Rockies meeting for Game 163 on Monday to determine the NL West if they finish the regular season with identical records. That would be played at Dodger Stadium by virtue of the Dodgers winning 12 of 19 head-to-head matchups.

There also remains a possibility of the Cardinals, Dodgers and Rockies finishing with the same record. In that case, the Dodgers and Rockies would play the extra game to decide the NL West, with the loser then traveling to Busch Stadium for a game on Tuesday that would determine who earns the second Wild Card spot.

That would require MLB to push back the date of the NL Wild Card, but those tentative details have not yet been released.