ESPN will host Friday’s matchup between the Cleveland Guardians and Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the Wild Card round of the 2022 MLB playoffs. First pitch set for 12:07 p.m. ET at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Shane Bieber will get the nod for the Guardians while Shane McClanahan will pitch for the Rays.
The Guardians were able to win the AL Central division with ease and get homefield throughout the Wild Card series. Cleveland enters with solid top-end pitching and a great lineup filled with good contact hitters. The Guardians are going to be able to rally in a pinch and they have a lights out closer in Emmanuel Clase. The rest of the bullpen has some issues but if the starters go the distance, that may not matter.
The Rays were once viewed as potential favorites in the AL East and World Series contenders. Now, they aren’t favored to come out of the WC round after dropping to the 6-seed in the AL. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a very imposing lineup, though it’s one that can get hot at times. McClanahan needs to dominate and Tyler Glasnow will have to get to mid-season form and quick after missing most of 2022 recovering from TJ surgery.
Guardians vs. Rays, Game 1
If you aren’t around a TV to check out this MLB matchup, you can stream the game via WatchESPN or the ESPN app. But keep in mind that you need a cable-login subscription. If you don’t have a cable login to access ESPN for a live stream, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream the game.