The 2022 MLB playoffs are down to just four teams. After today, it could be down to two.
Will the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros punch their tickets to the World Series? Or will the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees save their seasons?
A potential double-elimination Sunday begins with Game 5 of the National League Championship Series between the Phillies and Padres, with Philly up 3-1 and playing in front of a home crowd. Later, the Yankees look to avert a sweep as they battle Houston in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series in the Bronx.
Follow the action below all day long with start times, pitching matchups and starting lineups as they’re announced, followed by in-game updates and takeaways after each game is concluded.
More: Who has the NLCS edge? Preview, predictions for Padres-Phillies | Who will rule the ALCS? Preview, predictions for Yankees-Astros | Bracket, results and more
San Diego Padres at Philadelphia Phillies (2:37 p.m. ET, FS1)
Phillies lead series 3-1
Start padres: Yu Darvish
Phillies choke: Zack Wheeler
What to watch for: Padres manager Bob Melvin will need to ride Game 5 starter Yu Darvish for as long as he can in an ace showdown with Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler after everything San Diego tried on the mound backfired in Game 4. In fact, both bullpens are taxed after the teams used a combined 13 pitchers on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are swinging their bats so well right now, they should be able to play loose and easy knowing they have a two-game lead in the series and Aaron Nola waiting in the wings for Game 6 — if needed.
Almost all of Philly’s bats have contributed so far to this series, and there’s little reason to think that will end Sunday. That’s why it’s all on Darvish to save the Padres’ season. –Jesse Rogers
Phillies 3, Padres 2: Darvish will pitch his heart out but Philadelphia has that destiny look — at least to win the NL pennant. It will survive a tight, low-scoring affair — the exact opposite of Game 4 — and win the series with a tight win on Sunday. –Rogers
Phillies 5, Padres 2: The Phillies are 4-0 at home in the postseason and they look like they’re ready to pop some champagne. Wheeler has been outstanding over his three playoff starts and top relievers Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez didn’t have to pitch in Game 4 after a little extra workload in Game 3 (a combined 61 pitches), so everything is lining up for a boisterous celebration at Citizens Bank Park. –David Schoenfield
Houston Astros at New York Yankees (7:07 p.m. ET, TBS)
Astros lead series 3-0
Starter Astros: Lance McCullers Jr.
Yankee starters: Nestor Cortes
What to watch for: The Yankees will need to look to the 2004 Red Sox as a source of inspiration as New York faces a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS against the Astros. Houston has cruised through the series, looking like the better team in every aspect of the game, highlighted by strong performances from starting pitchers Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier. McCullers will have the chance to close things out on Sunday against a Yankees lineup that looked totally lifeless in Games 2 and 3.
Houston will need more of the same to punch a ticket to the World Series: strong performances up and down the lineup. The Yankees will need a season-extending outing from Cortes, who has been their most consistent starter all year. New York’s lineup will need to wake up, starting with Aaron Judge, who has had an awful postseason, hitting .156/.182/.344. –Joon Lee
Astros 4, Yankees 2: The Yankees’ season ends on a disappointing and uncompetitive note as the Astros continue their postseason undefeated streak off a solid all-around performance from the offense and a strong start from McCullers. –Lee
Astros 7, Yankees 2: It’s a not-very-analytical take, but the Yankees’ body language was very zombie-like on Saturday. They look done. –Bradford Doolittle
Astros 2, Yankees 1: Not even Cortes on full rest can stop the juggernaut that is Houston, with McCullers Jr. the latest to silence New York’s bats. –Jeff Passan