Picking NL wild-card rosters

Will Chris Carpenter take the hill for the Cardinals in the NL wild-card playoff? AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

In the inaugural season of the wild-card sudden-death playoff, managers and GMs will be setting their rosters for a one-game series with the notion that their team must be prepared for any contingency. What if the game goes multiple extra innings? Which players match up best against the opposition in particular situations? Are there enough speed options? There will be difficult decisions to make for both the National League and American League clubs.

Today, let’s look at the NL wild-card game between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals that is all but set in stone at this point. We’ll try to predict what their wild-card rosters will look like and where their tough decisions will be. Remember, this is being treated as a separate round of the playoffs, so teams will have a chance to adjust their rosters again for the division series.

Atlanta Braves

Starting pitching: The Braves probably will carry three starting pitchers: Kris Medlen (who's slated to start), Tim Hudson (who is set to start Game 1 of the NLDS if they win the wild-card game) and Mike Minor. Hudson is only on the roster in case of injury or an unexpected early exit by Medlen, and Minor serves as a third left-handed reliever just in case they have a need in the fifth or sixth inning.