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The Opener: Wainwright, Rodriguez, Phillies/Braves


As the 2023 regular season enters the home stretch, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:

1. Wainwright goes for #200:

After securing his 199th career win in Baltimore last week, Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright is slated to take the ball at home against the Brewers with a chance to become the 122nd player in MLB history to reach 200 wins in his career, joining the likes of Jon Lester and Chuck Finley. Pitching opposite Wainwright in what could be his final career start at Busch Stadium figures to be right-hander Freddy Peralta (3.79 ERA). The final season of Wainwright’s career has been a very difficult one, as the 41-year-old has posted a 7.95 ERA and 6.20 FIP in 94 innings of work across 20 starts. Wainwright’s Cardinals are struggling similarly, with the club facing just their second season below .500 since Wainwright debuted in 2005 with the possibility of their first 90-loss campaign since 1990.

2. Rodriguez heads to LA:

The Tigers are headed to Dodger Stadium for a three game set today. Despite the Dodgers having already clinched the NL West and the Tigers being all but eliminated from postseason contention, there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding today’s game. That’s because left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who made waves in the baseball world at the trade deadline this year by using his no-trade rights to veto a deal that would have sent him to the Dodgers, will be taking the mound tonight against right-hander Lance Lynn, LA’s lone rotation addition at the deadline this year.  With Lynn sporting an ugly 8.18 ERA over his last four starts and much of the Dodgers rotation injured ahead of the club’s impending postseason run, Rodriguez’s 3.99 ERA in eight starts since the trade deadline would surely have been a major boost to the club in the final weeks of the season and have given them a third veteran arm to pair with Lynn and Clayton Kershaw this postseason.

3. Series Preview: Phillies @ Braves

A pair of division rivals are set to begin a three-game set that could prove to be a preview of what’s to come this postseason as the Phillies make their way to Truist Park in Atlanta. It’s the second series between the clubs in as many weeks, with the Braves having clinched the NL East crown by taking three of four in Philadelphia last week. Since then, however, the Braves suffered a brutal sweep at the hands of the Marlins while the Phillies took a series win against the Cardinals over the weekend, indicating momentum may have shifted to favor the Phillies headed into this week’s series. The coming set has no shortage of intriguing pitching matchups, starting with righties Zack Wheeler and Kyle Wright facing off this evening. Tuesday will see youngsters Spencer Strider and Cristopher Sanchez clash, while the final game of the series will see Aaron Nola take the mound opposite Bryce Elder.

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