Major League Baseball’s wild card playoffs kickoff today beginning with the Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays (3 p.m. E.T.)
The defending World Series champion Houston Astros have several days off until the Division Series begins, along with the Baltimore Orioles in the American League and Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League.
Follow along today’s quadruple header with USA TODAY Sports’ live updates:
MLB playoffs schedule, starting pitchers
Rangers at Rays: 3:08 p.m. ET, ABC
Blue Jays at Twins: 4:38 p.m. ET, ESPN
Diamondbacks at Brewers: 7:08 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Marlins at Phillies: 8:08 p.m. ET, ESPN
LHP Jesús Luzardo, Miami — RHP Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia (13-6, 3.61 ERA)
How does the MLB wild-card round work?
The best-of-three wild card format is in its second season. The format was changed in 2022 from the sudden death one-game format that was in place since 2012 with the exception of the COVID-19 pandemic-affected 2020 season.
Six teams each from the American League and National League qualified for the postseason, including the three division winners in each league. The three wild card teams in each league are the teams with the best records that didn’t win their division.
The top two division winners with the best records in each league got a bye and don’t have to play in the wild card round. One big advantage for the higher seed in those wild card series is they get to host all three games.
The Rangers-Rays winner faces Baltimore in the Division Series, the Twins-Blue Jays winner plays Houston, the Phillies-Marlins winner starts at Atlanta and the Brewers-Diamondbacks winner gets a matchup with the Dodgers. − Associated Press
Twins out to finally end postseason losing streak
It has been 6,937 days.since the Minnesota Twins have won a postseason game – back on Oct. 5, 2004.
They have been to the postseason seven times since that 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 2004 AL Division Series, playing 18 postseason games.
And they have lost them every single one of them. The 18-game playoff losing streak is the longest in North American team sports.
Now, here they are, with another shot to end their dreaded drought, playing the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League wild-card series on Tuesday (4:38 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Target Field.
Mercifully, they’re not playing the Yankees, who are responsible for 13 of those 18 losses.
Four pivotal players for MLB wild card series
Sometimes, the superstars shine, thrilling the TV networks that hyped them, and the fans that adore them. But so often in Major League Baseball’s playoffs, the pivotal performers are ones you could not have imagined.
USA TODAY Sports takes a look at four players that will almost certainly be pivotal in each of the four series, which begin Tuesday and conclude either Wednesday or Thursday:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2023 MLB playoffs live updates: Wild card scores, schedule, highlights