There have been a lot of great finishes to the MLB regular season in the past few years and this year is no different. The National League may have had its five teams set before the final day of the season but teams were still playing for home field advantage, even if it was just for the opening series.
The American League went into the final day with a chance for a three way time for two Wild Card spots. Say what you want about Bud Selig, but I do like this new Wild Card/Playoff format.
We didn’t get the three way tie for the AL Wild Card but we got the next best thing, a tie for the second Wild Card spot resulting in a one game playoff, before the one game Wild Card game. If game seven is the most exciting game in sports, and the one game Wild Card is like a game seven, what does two one game elimination games equal?
Well it is time to make my official picks for the 2013 MLB Playoffs.
American League play in game
Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers
David Price is all that needs to be said. I pick Tampa Bay Rays.
American League Wild Card Game
Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Indians
The Indians don’t realize that they are the underdogs in these playoffs and with David Price already out for this game I lean towards Cleveland even though I think Tampa Bay would have a better chance of beating the Red Sox. I pick Cleveland Indians.
American League Division Series
Detroit Tigers vs Oakland A’s
Last year’s A.L. champion Detroit Tigers looks to make the World Series in back to back years but they are going to have to face an Oakland A’s team that seems to be the forgotten team all season long. Both teams have solid pitching and can score enough runs to win a game. These teams are pretty evenly matched and I think the difference in this series is going to be which teams has their role players or their bench step up and get the hits in the clutch.
My pick: Oakland A’s in 5 games.
Boston Red Sox vs Wild Card winner (Cleveland Indians or Tampa Bay Rays / Texas Rangers)
For which ever of the Wild Card teams that make this series they are going to be in an instant disadvantage having lost their #1 starter to the Wild Card Game, or possibly even their #1 and #2 starter if Tampa Bay or Texas wins.
If Boston fails to make the World Series this year it shouldn’t be because they lost in this round of the playoffs. They can pitch and they can hit so I give them the advantage over any of the three Wild Card teams
My pick: Boston Red Sox in 3 games.
National League Wild Card
Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates
I really like both of these teams but I like the Pirates more and that is why I’m going with the Pirates. However if the Reds have a lead late it is over the second Chapmon steps on the mound.
National League Division Series
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves
I wish that this series could have been saved for the NLCS but baseball doesn’t work that way. A five game series is centered around which team can get hot the quickest. Neither teams stands out with a glaring advantage except for maybe one thing. The Dodgers can line up Kershaw and Greinke to start the series is just a nasty one-two punch. I know the Braves have pitching as well but Kershaw isn’t just another Ace. He is THE ACE in all of baseball right now.
My pick: Los Angeles Dodgers in 5.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Wild Card winner (Pittsburgh Pirates or Cincinnati Reds)
Playing against a Wild Card team gives the St. Louis Cardinals the advantage. Playing against an opponent from your own division that has seen you more than any other team might wipe away that advantage. The Cardinals are a complete team but I don’t think that means they aren’t a potential upset pick. Both the Pirates and Reds could win this series, but since I chose the Pirates to be here I’m picking them to win the series.
My pick: Pirates in 4.
American League Championship Series
Boston Red Sox vs Oakland A’s
My pick: Boston Red Sox in 6. MVP will be Dustin Pedroia.
National League Championship Series
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Pittsburgh Pirates
My pick: Los Angeles Dodgers in 7. MVP will be Yasiel Puig who hits a game 7 winning homerun.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Boston Red Sox
ESPN, FOX, MLB and everyone else is going to love this series because of the big markets. I’m going to love it because I think with the way this season played out these are the two teams that should be here facing each other.
I think this will be an amazing World Series matchup that could rival some of the best in baseball history. With that being said here are my predictions.
My pick: Los Angeles in 6. Clayton Kershaw turns into Sandy Koufax and just pitches lights out each time he is on the mound. He goes 2-0 but if the series goes 7 he comes in to pitch game 7 and goes 3-0.