The MLB Playoffs are right around the corner. Once the Rays and the Rangers settle the score in Arlington on Monday Sept. 30, the race to the World Series will begin.
Here is a full preview of the 2013 Fall Classic.
Cleveland Indians vs. Rays/Rangers:
The Indians are into the playoffs and are arguably the hottest team in baseball. They will draw a game between either the TampaBay Rays or the Texas Rangers. Terry Francona, in his first year, has guided the Indians to the playoffs. Their catcher, Carlos Santana, anchors their lineup. The Indians improbable playoff run will be tested against the, equally as hot, Rays or Rangers. Ubaldo Jimenez will pitch for the Indians in Game 1.
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
The American League West winning Oakland Athletics are set to take on the American League Central champion Detroit Tigers. The Tigers made it this far behind a very strong starting staff and the bat of AL MVP Candidate, Miguel Cabrera. A mix between a young and exciting pitching staff and a lineup with slugger Yoenis Cespedes, the Athletics are into the playoffs for the second straight year. It was a tough draw for the Athletics, but this team has been resilient all year. The series kicks off Friday Oct. 4 as Justin Verlander faces off against Bartolo Colon.
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Braves easily clinched the National League (NL) East for the first time since 2005, behind a powerful lineup and a very strong bullpen. Their counterparts, the Los Angeles Dodgers, were the hottest team in baseball since the arrival of their Cuban sensation, outfielder Yasiel Puig. Both lineups can be very potent. Yasiel Puig and the resurgent Hanley Ramirez lead the Dodgers, while the Braves have the likes of Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman. The series kicks off Thursday Oct. 3 as Clayton Kershaw takes on Kris Medlen.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
In the Pirates first trip to the playoffs since 1992, they will face their NL Central rivals, the Cincinnati Reds in a one game playoff this Tuesday Oct. 1 in Pittsburgh. The Pirates pieced together a starting pitching staff of veterans and a lineup led by Andrew McCutchen. The Reds got to the playoffs behind an experienced lineup and a capable pitching staff headed by Johnny Cueto. Playoff baseball is back in Pittsburgh, and Tuesday’s atmosphere at PNC Park should be special. The game will feature the pitching matchup of Johnny Cueto vs. Francisco Liriano.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pirates/Reds
The NL Central Champion Cardinals will face the winner of the Reds and Pirates tilt this Thursday Oct. 3 in St. Louis. The Cardinals are riding a young, but talented staff, anchored by Adam Wainwright, into the postseason. Along with a lineup that produced the most runs in the National league this season. The Cardinals, who are always a tough out in the playoffs, are once again a very talented team and will be a very tough draw for either the Reds or the Pirates.
Boston Red Sox vs. Indians or Rays/Rangers
After a putrid 2012 campaign, the Red Sox’s came back in 2013 with a chip on their shoulder and claimed the AL East title. With a starting pitching staff that includes Clay Bucholtz and Jon Lester, the Red Sox have a staff that should be able to get them to the unhittable, Koji Uehera. They still have David “Big Papi” Ortiz anchoring the lineup that also features Dustin Pedroia and free swinging Mike Napoli. This Red Sox team is poised for a deep playoff run and has placed themselves in a very good position for the Fall Classic.
That concludes the 2013 MLB Playoff preview, be sure to tune into TBS all week long to catch the action and drama that makes the MLB Playoffs, enjoy!