The MLB playoffs are ready to kick off its new wild-card format on Friday afternoon.
Each league now has three wild-card teams and there are four three-game series to decide who moves on the division series.
Having four games of playoff baseball on Friday will make for a very exciting weekend.
With plenty of awesome storylines heading into the MLB playoffs, here are three to watch for in the wild-card series.
Cardinals’ Legends Last Stand
The St. Louis Cardinals are hosting the Philadelphia Phillies in the three-game wild-card series.
The fans in St. Louis get another treat of seeing the final stand of Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright.
Despite the big three being at the end of their careers, they are still being counted on in the postseason.
Pujols has been one of the Cardinals’ best hitters in the second half of the season.
In his final regular season home game, Albert Pujols goes deep.
You can't script it. pic.twitter.com/S1tBim507J
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2022
His ability to hit home runs will be key for St. Louis against the Phillies’ starters.
The Phillies won the season series between these teams (4-3).
But, the Cardinals are the more experienced team, with this being the first time since 2011 the Phillies were in the playoffs.
St. Louis is one of the great baseball towns, and this series should be awesome between two good teams.
Pujols, Molina, and Wainwright are hoping to ride off into the sunset with another world series title.
With a win over the Phillies the first obstacle in the way.
The Seattle Mariners Are Back In The Playoffs
The Mariners have not made the playoffs since 2001, when rookie Ichiro Suzuki, led them to the postseason.
Now in 2022, the Mariners are back and are being led by another rookie.
Julio Rodriguez has been the best player on the Mariners this year despite being 21 years old.
The last time the Mariners were in the playoffs, star outfielder Julio Rodríguez was eight months old. pic.twitter.com/1zKZ80xmJ5
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 1, 2022
Unfortunately, Mariners fans do not get to see their team play at home in the wild-card round.
Toronto will host the Mariners in a matchup between two AL wild-card teams.
Seattle has the potential to make a run this postseason thanks to their pitching.
Luis Castillo and Robbie Ray give the Mariners a powerful one-two punch, and a chance to beat any team.
Seattle has been waiting for this moment for 21 years, you better believe they will not go down without a fight.
The Mets’ Starting Rotation
It appears the Mets are confident in their ability to beat the Padres without their best pitcher.
Reports have surfaced that Jacob deGrom will not start in the wild-card series.
That is a bold move from the Mets as deGrom would give them a massive advantage in that series.
The Mets still have Max Scherzer for game one, but game two is expected to be Chris Bassitt if not deGrom.
Buck Showalter says Max Scherzer is set to start Game 1 of the Wild Card series on Friday pic.twitter.com/uNjnXAVpUV
— SNY (@SNYtv) October 6, 2022
After blowing the NL East lead in the final few weeks, the Mets put themselves in this position where they have to win a wild-card series.
If New York happens to fall in game one, you better believe deGrom will start game two with the season on the line.
But, it seems the Mets will hold deGrom out until they are facing elimination.
That is a risky move but it could pay off if deGrom is starting game one against the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Either way, the Pitching for the Mets is the most important aspect of their roster.
New York will go as far as their pitching takes them and that includes a healthy deGrom.
It will be interesting to see how Showalter manages this rotation throughout the postseason.