MLB Playoff Bracket 2020: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Predictions for Thursday

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2020

Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman (5) celebrates driving in the game-winning run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 13th inning during Game 1 of a National League wild-card baseball series, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves won 1-0. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Seasons will end on Thursday.

There is no shortage of drama in Thursday's loaded Major League Baseball playoff schedule, which features four National League teams fighting to preserve their campaigns and a win-or-go-home game in the American League.

With that in mind, here is a look at the schedule, broadcast information and predictions for the day's games.

The full playoff bracket can be found on MLB.com.

          

Thursday MLB Playoff Schedule

Game 2 Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves at 12:08 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN

Game 2 Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs at 2:08 p.m. ET on ABC and WatchESPN

Game 3 Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics at 3:10 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN

Game 2 St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres at 7:08 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 and WatchESPN

Game 2 Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers at 10:08 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN

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Predicted Winners for Thursday

Braves over Reds, win series 2-0

Cubs over Marlins, tie series 1-1

Athletics over White Sox, win series 2-1

Padres over Cardinals, tie series 1-1

Dodgers over Brewers, win series 2-0

            

Matchup to Watch: Reds at Braves

There were eight games on Wednesday, and the best one may have been the first.

At least for fans of pitcher's duels.

The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds did not score a single run through 12.5 innings in Game 1 of their series until Freddie Freeman finally propelled his side to a 1-0 victory with an RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Both teams missed plenty of opportunities, perhaps none more glaring than Cincinnati's in the top of the 12th when it put runners on first and third with nobody out with a chance to push across what could have been the winning run.

Instead, Kyle Farmer, Tucker Barnhart and Freddy Galvis all struck out in at-bats the entire Reds team will surely be thinking about until Thursday's game starts.

Trevor Bauer, who started the game for the visitors and struck out 12 in 7.2 shutout innings, likely will given his postgame comments.

"You can't fault the pitching," he said, per Jason Foster of Sporting News.

It may seem like the National League Cy Young contender was at least somewhat throwing his teammates under the bus, but it was also a true statement. This is a Reds team that many saw as a threat heading into the playoffs because of a potentially dominant staff featuring Bauer, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, but the offense has to score at least one run if they are going to win.

Bauer wasn't the only impressive starter in Game 1, as counterpart Max Fried threw seven shutout innings for the Braves.

It will be up to one of those formidable Reds pitchers on Thursday if they are going to continue their season.

Castillo will take the ball after an incredible September that saw him post a 2.20 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 32.2 innings against the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.

He will face Ian Anderson in Game 2, who made just six starts as a rookie in 2020 but was brilliant in them with a 1.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.

The thought here is Anderson will silence a Reds offense that is coming off an abysmal performance while Freeman and the Braves offense find a way to score just enough against Castillo to win the series. 

Prediction: Braves 3, Reds 1