Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

The Wild Card Game, from a roster standpoint, is an odd bird. You know that it’s going to be just one game, and that the roster can be re-set before the NLDS. So, then, there are certain guys you might otherwise think are great and deserving of a 25-man roster spot, but whom you might not want to carry for that particular game.

On the other hand, the game is a do-or-die situation. So, even if you don’t anticipate needing, for example, your third starting pitcher, you do want to make sure you are absolutely covered in case of emergencies X, Y, and Z.

Against that backdrop, the Mets and Giants have unveiled their rosters for tonight’s Wild Card Game:

The Mets went with fewer pitchers than the Giants, which makes sense given the latter team’s struggles in the bullpen (though heaven help the Giants if they have to use 11 pitchers in one game). Of note, the Giants are carrying both Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, in addition to tonight’s starter Madison Bumgarner. Given those bullpen struggles, it’s not hard to imagine the Giants being more inclined to use Cueto and/or Samardzija than your typical Wild Card team might. It’s unlikely Cueto will see action, but if he does, that could call into question his availability for Game One of the NLDS, depending on how long he goes.

This is all really attenuated stuff, so I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking there are obvious and likely rooting interest things to be gleaned from the rosters. Instead, I just share them because they’re here now.

I’m still pretty sure I’ll be pulling for the Mets in this one (a long game, too, of course), as the rest of the Mets’ rotation after Noah Syndergaard is less intimidating to me than the Giants’ rotation after Madison Bumgarner. The Mets’ bullpen is better, yes, but I’d bet on the starters having more impact in a short series.

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