- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
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• 1:10 p.m. ET: The Phillies and Mets will play the final game of what has been a terrific series. Ramon Castro hit a home run to win the first game, and Chase Utley beat Pedro Martinez with bombs in Wednesday's second game. There is little margin for error in the NL wild-card race, and because of this, this is Must-Watch Game of the Day.
• 7:05: The Red Sox and Devil Rays finish up the carnage that has been their series in Boston, with Bronson Arroyo of the Red Sox throwing against Doug Waechter. This is not the matchup of the best pitchers, but it's The Best Pitching Matchup of the Night, because both staffs have been hit hard in this series, and there is a real need for each starter to shut down the flow of runs early in this game. Arroyo pitched effectively early in this season, but whatever the reason, his stuff is simply diminished now, his fastball lacking zip. Aubrey Huff is The Most Likely Guy To Go Deep against Arroyo, because in 13 career at-bats against Arroyo, he's got eight hits, for a .615 batting average.
• 8:05: The Padres hold a 5½ game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West, and they could just about wrap up the division if they can play well over their next 13 games -- 10 of which are on the road. San Diego begins a four-game series in Milwaukee tonight, with Adam Eaton working against the Brewers' Rick Helling.
• 8:05: Roy Oswalt struggled in August, going 2-3 with a 5.81 ERA, with opponents batting .320. But he still has a shot at 20 victories, because he's 15-11, with a 2.94.
• 10:05: With Rich Harden down and out with a lat strain, Joe Kennedy has stepped into his spot in the rotation, amid some serious pressure; with a win tonight, the Angels could move back into a first-place tie with Oakland. Ervin Santana pitches for Los Angeles.
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is available in paperback and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.
Buster Olney takes a look at Thursday's top matchups.