On Deck: It's Time to Settle Up

On Deck is FanHouse's look at the day's most intriguing baseball matchups.

Little did these furry creatures know back when this friendly picture was taken that they would be fighting to the death just two and a half short months later on the last day of the season ... albeit in different cities. But with the White Sox and Twins both refusing to the chokeslam down on their respective weekend opponents (the Indians and the Royals), this divisional fight to the death is looking like what you would expect a fight between furry mascots to look like: sloppy, clumsy, and downright hilarious.

Cleveland Indians (81-80) at Chicago White Sox (86-74) - 7:05 PM ET

Strangely, the team that holds their own destiny in the AL Central is the team that's behind in the standings. Whether the Twins win or lose is irrelevant if the White Sox win today. That would ensure that the make-up game against Detroit would be played on Monday afternoon. Will the White Sox win? Well, in what is a significant development, Cliff Lee has been scratched from his start today due to a stiff neck. Lee is 22-3. Bryan Bullington, his replacement, is 0-4 in his entire career. The Sox will have nobody to blame but themselves if they blow this chance.

Kansas City Royals (75-86) at Minnesota Twins (87-74) - 3:55 PM ET

Get ready for a tidbit from Capt. Obvious: The Twins can make life a lot easier on themselves if they emerge victorious against the Royals today at home. A home run or two from Justin Morneau would help also, as he's hitting .200 since September 15th. Today's Twins starter Scott Baker has gotten wins in three of his last five starts, and has pitched fairly well in doing so. But he also got a combined 30 runs of support in those victories.

Florida Marlins (83-77) at New York Mets (89-72) - 1:10 PM ET
Chicago Cubs (97-63) at Milwaukee Brewers (89-72) - 2:05 PM ET

We wondered who would start for the Mets if Johan Santana kept them alive (which he did ... Santana is pitching like somebody is pressing the turbo button on X-Box like, constantly). Wonder no more: Oliver Perez makes like Santana and will also make the start on three days rest. Perez is no stranger to big games: He pitched six solid innings in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. CC Sabathia goes for the Brewers against Chicago (who will not start Carlos Zambrano as originally thought ... they'll go with Angel Guzman.) Sabathia is also pitching like a beast, so the Mets had better put the pressure on with a win or else it will probably be all over on the last day of the season ... once again ... for the New York Mets.

Everyone else:

  • Rays at Tigers 1:05 EDT
  • Yankees at Red Sox 1:35 and 7:35 EDT
  • Nationals at Phillies 1:35 EDT
  • Blue Jays at Orioles 1:35 EDT
  • Braves at Astros 2:05 EDT
  • Reds at Cardinals 2:15 EDT
  • Rangers at Angels 3:35 EDT
  • Dodgers at Giants 4:05 EDT
  • Pirates at Padres 4:05 EDT
  • Athletics at Mariners 4:10 EDT
  • Rockies at Diamondbacks 4:10 EDT

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