Greatest MLB Early-Season Matchups That Will Dictate How the Season Is Played
The MLB season is (finally!) underway. Just over a week into the season, fans are already starting to get excited—and depressed—with their team's performance. That said, there are, and have been, some key matchups that have everyone looking at them as evidence for what may be in October.
Here's a look at five key games that have been or will be played in the month of April and could be indicative of things to come.
Marlins @ Phillies
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Wednesday, April 11 will be an amazing pitching matchup with the Marlins' Josh Johnson going up against the Phillies' Roy Halladay.
This is a very big game, as it could be a glimpse into two teams throwing their aces late in the season and vying for a playoff spot. Both these teams have chinks in their armor, but ultimately, along with the Braves and maybe even the Nationals, they are considered by many to be right in the middle of the hunt for a playoff spot.
The alignment of these two teams' aces may occur again late in the season, when a win could be a must for both teams.
Rays @ Red Sox
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On Friday, April 13, there is expected to be a showdown of two powerhouses in the AL East: the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox.
These two teams, along with the Yankees and potentially the Blue Jays, are expected to be fighting for the AL East title all season long.
On Friday, the Rays will send David Price to the mound. He will be countered by the Red Sox's Josh Beckett. This is almost a guaranteed preview of what is to be late in the season.
Giants @ Diamondbacks
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Back on April 6th, the Giants and the Diamondbacks squared off in Arizona in a matchup of what will likely be the two teams vying for the NL West title in 2012.
On the mound was Tim Lincecum vs. Ian Kennedy.
Some of you may have expected Lincecum to win this game when, in reality, he and the rest of the Giant staff have struggled in Arizona lately.
As such, the Diamondbacks won.
If the Giants want to win the West this year, their staff will have to start pitching better in Arizona.
Tigers @ Royals
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The Tigers are the favorites to win the AL Central, but the Kansas City Royals could surprise many and give the Tigers a run for their money (or at least compete for a wild-card spot).
April 16, 17 and 18 will be the first matchups between the likely No. 1 and 2 teams in the AL Central.
It should be fun to watch the Tigers' power face off against the Royals' youth.
Yankees @ Red Sox
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And, of course, it wouldn't be a complete (nor accurate) list if the Yankees/Red Sox matchup was missing.
April 20, 21 and 22 will be the weekend series between these two long-time rivals. No more needs to be said.