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Grantland: Splitting hairs for Cy Young

Jonah Keri is going with Clayton Kershaw in the NL because he struck out 301 batters in 232.2 innings -- the highest single-season strikeout rate for any qualified starter ever not named Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson. Other award picks

Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

Carlos Correa=a young A-Rod? Astros manager A.J. Hinch is not a big fan of that comparison, or any, for that matter. "I heard Cal Ripken. I heard (Troy) Tulowitzki. I heard Jeter and A-Rod. All we've ever wanted him to be is Carlos Correa," Hinch said of his 21-year-old shortstop. "I don't expect him to do anything more than his best, and his best is really good. And whether that's going to below A-Rod's career, even to A-Rod's career, or exceed A-Rod's career is going to be played out over the next two decades."

Player to watch: Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod revitalized his career with a 33-HR campaign in his first post-suspension action. Now he looks to get over his playoffs struggles. A-Rod's .187 slugging percentage in the playoffs since 2010 is the lowest for any player (min. 50 plate appearances).


yankees @yankees

@AROD gets locked in before tonight’s AL #WildCard Game.

Player to watch: Carlos Correa

The Astros made the rookie their starting shortstop in early June, and he responded by setting a franchise record for homers in a season by a SS (22). He can also get it done with the glove.


Sport Science: Correa's hitting mechanics

Sport Science examines the well-balanced, quick-handed swing of Astros rookie SS Carlos Correa.


Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he is not without concerns, given that center fielder Carlos Gonez is not fully recovered from his strained intercostal muscle, but he still wanted him on his lineup card. Gomez will be hitting sixth. "He's bouncing around the clubhouse ready to play...This was the time to do it. I just told him to give us your best and we'll gauge where that is, but there's no doubt he can be an electrifying force."

espn @espn

October is a week old, but it really begins tonight. Astros. Yankees. Playoffs. Live on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

The 9 Astros starters tonight made $27,859,980 this season. Jacoby Ellsbury made $21,142,857 with the Yankees. He's not starting.

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Jacoby Ellsbury, who is not starting tonight's wild card game, spoke to the media for 31 seconds after batting practice. Ellsbury said he told manager Joe Girardi he wants to play, but he seemed content with the manager's decision. Ellsbury is finishing the second season of a seven-year, $153 million contract.

Harvey apologizes for missing workout

ESPN New York reporter Adam Rubin explains why Mets ace Matt Harvey was absent from a mandatory team practice on Tuesday and what happens next.


Which A-Rod will the Yankees get?

Will Alex Rodriguez carry New York to a memorable postseason run like he did in 2009 or struggle mightily at the plate like he did from 2010-12?

Stats & Info

Is The Wild Card System Broken?

The FiveThirtyEight podcast crew says there is likely too much randomness in the MLB postseason structure.


Astros came from the very, very bottom

When watching the AL wild-card game tonight (8 p.m. ET on ESPN), keep in mind that between 2011 and 2013, Houston combined for a 162-324 record. But now the Astros are back in the postseason for the first time since 2005.


Will Molina be on postseason roster?

Jenifer Langosch reports that the Cardinals are optimistic that Yadier Molina will be healthy enough to be on the postseason roster.


Olney: Yankees may sit stars tonight

Buster Olney says there are logical reasons why Joe Girardi is contemplating sitting Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and/or Brian McCann tonight against Houston.


Olney: Signs of trouble with Sabathia

Buster Olney, on CC Sabathia's demeanor after the Yankees clinched a playoff spot. “He didn’t seem happy. I wondered about that when I walked away from the interview. I just thought to myself, ‘I hope he’s doing OK.’”


Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Girardi said he chose to play Gardner over Ellsbury because of Gardner's superior numbers vs lefties. But vs. Dallas Keuchel, Gardner is 0-for-4, Ellsbury 2-for-7. Girardi: "I mulled it over for two days. I'm the one who has to live with it."

A World Series prediction sure to go wrong

Jayson Stark doesn't have the best track record when it comes to predicting World Series winners. But this year has to be different. Doesn't it? Sorry, Toronto

ESPN Illustration

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

On their only visit to Yankee Stadium, the Astros out scored the Yankees, 21-4, in winning 2 of 3. DH Evan Gattis had two hits in each game, going 6 for 14 with 3 HRs, 5 R and 6 RBI. He's one Texan--born and raised in Dallas--right at home in the big town.

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

Astros fans representing in the Bronx. These guys said they flew in from Houston for the game. "It's been 10 years," one said. "We had to come."

Ellsbury benched for wild-card game

Jacoby Ellsbury is not in the starting lineup for tonight's game against the Astros. Brett Gardner will start in CF for the Yankees, with Chris Young playing LF and hitting second. Young has a .972 OPS against lefties this year and is 6-for-20 lifetime against tonight's starter Dallas Keuchel.


Betts to enter World Series of Bowling

Red Sox OF Mookie Betts accepted an invite from the PBA to play in the World Series of Bowling VII in Reno, Nev., in December. Betts has two 300 games and was third in the Tennessee HS championships in 2010. He hit .291 with 18 HRs and 21 SBs this season.