LEADING OFF: Wild, 8-game day opens with Bauer vs Fried

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Cincinnati Reds' Trevor Bauer reacts after striking out Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich in the eighth inning during a baseball game in Cincinnati, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. The Reds won 6-1. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

A look at what's happening around the majors Wednesday:

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CRAZY EIGHT

How’s this for wild: MLB is set to stage eight postseason games on the same day for the first time. National League clubs will open their best-of-three wild-card series, while four American League teams are already facing elimination after starting Tuesday.

The Reds and Braves open things with a dynamite pitching matchup between Trevor Bauer and Max Fried at noon ET, and baseball will be on TV until the Brewers and Dodgers wrap their 10 p.m. ET tilt.

With the expansion of the first round from a pair of wild-card games to eight best-of-three series, there are a maximum 65 possible postseason games this year. In the 1960s, there were 66 postseason games in the entire decade, with league championship series starting in 1969.

The day starts with a showdown between NL Cy Young Award contenders. The right-handed Bauer (5-4, 1.73 ERA) was at his best down the stretch for Cincinnati, including a 12-strikeout performance against Milwaukee in his final regular season start. Left-handed Fried (7-0, 2.25) has been slowed by back spasms and a left ankle injury in recent weeks.

SKIDDING