MLB Playoff Schedule 2013: Ranking Most Compelling Possible Divisional Series

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MLB Playoff Schedule 2013: Ranking Most Compelling Possible Divisional Series
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With two additional teams making the MLB playoffs these days, fans have the opportunity to root for the matchups they hope to see during the wild-card play-in games. 

Which got me to thinking—which matchups would I be most excited about seeing (including the divisional series already set in stone)? What compelling storylines or rivalries do I want to see played out on the October stage?

I'll share my picks below, including the full postseason schedule to follow. Be sure to include your thoughts in the comments.

 

*Watch postseason baseball live on TBS.com or your mobile device.

 

6. Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals

While the divisional rivalry aspect of this matchup would add to the intensity, there wouldn't be that many intriguing storylines here, right? Neither team is an upstart, there isn't a long and intense history of hatred between the clubs and neither team has too many players who move the needle.

It would be good, solid baseball, but it's the least compelling matchup for the average fan. 

 

5. Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

Anytime you get a chance to see an AL East rivalry, it's a good thing. The Red Sox were one of the most surprising teams in baseball this year, while the Rays and manager Joe Maddon keep finding their way to the postseason.

Still, there are four series that would bring more intrigue to the table than this matchup. 

 

4. Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Outside of Cincinnati, everyone is rooting for the Pirates to win the play-in game, right? We'd all love to see the team mired in years upon years of futility get a full playoff series, right?

The Pirates have a start in Andrew McCutchen, a masher in Pedro Alvarez and one of the most solid pitching staffs in all of baseball. Add in a recent legacy of failure, and you have America's darlings in this postseason should they advance past Cincinnati. 

 

3. Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

It turns out a series we are guaranteed to see is also one of the most compelling options. Both of these teams bring serious star power to the table and made headlines for dramatically improving before the season began.

In the Dodgers, you get Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The Braves counter with Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen

The Braves won the season series, five games to two. Can they keep up their winning ways against LA with the pressure on?

 

2. Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

C'mon, everyone wants to see Terry Francona face his old team after his unceremonious firing from the Red Sox in 2011 following the great "fried chicken" debacle. Now, he returns with a young, exciting Indians team that has the bats to hang with the equally dangerous Red Sox lineup.

The "return of Francona" storyline would get old fast, but beyond that, two of the best offenses in the American League would slug their way to a fun ALDS

 

1. Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics

From a purely baseball-driven perspective, this is the matchup I'm most intrigued to see. 

Any chance to watch Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer is exciting enough, but the chance to see a rematch of last year's five-game ALDS?

Sign me up. The Athletics don't have the star power of the Tigers, but they are one of the game's most balanced teams. You can bet this will once again be an excellent matchup and one that should go the full five games. 

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Here's the full MLB postseason schedule:

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
NL Wild Card Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Tue, Oct. 1 8 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
NL Wild Card

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
AL Wild Card Tampa Bay Rays @ Cleveland Indians Wed, Oct. 2 8 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com 
AL Wild Card

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 NL Wild Card @ St. Louis Cardinals Thu, Oct. 3 5 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com 
Game 2 NL Wild Card @ St. Louis Cardinals Fri, Oct. 4 1 p.m. MLBN Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 3 St. Louis Cardinals @ NL Wild Card Sun, Oct. 6 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 4* St. Louis Cardinals @ NL Wild Card Mon, Oct. 7 TBD TBS or MLBN*** Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 5* NL Wild Card @ St. Louis Cardinals Wed, Oct. 9 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
NLDS A

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves Thu, Oct. 3 8:30 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 2 Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves Fri, Oct. 4 6 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 3 Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers Sun, Oct. 6 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 4* Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers Mon, Oct. 7 TBD TBS or MLBN*** Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 5* Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves Wed, Oct. 9 TBD TBS  
NLDS B

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 AL Wild Card @ Boston Red Sox Fri, Oct. 4 3 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 2 AL Wild Card @ Boston Red Sox Sat, Oct. 5 5:30 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 3 Boston Red Sox @ AL Wild Card Mon, Oct. 7 TBD TBS or MLBN*** Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 4* Boston Red Sox@ AL Wild Card Tue, Oct. 8 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 5* AL Wild Card @ Boston Red Sox Thu, Oct. 10 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
ALDS A

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics Fri, Oct. 4 9:30 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 2 Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics Sat, Oct. 5 9 p.m. TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 3 Oakland Athletics @ Detroit Tigers Mon, Oct. 7 TBD TBS or MLBN*** Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 4* Oakland Athletics @ Detroit Tigers Tue, Oct. 8 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 5* Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics Thu, Oct. 10 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
ALDS B

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 TBD @ TBD Fri, Oct. 11 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 2 TBD @ TBD Sat, Oct. 12 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 3 TBD @ TBD Mon, Oct. 14 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 4 TBD @ TBD Tue, Oct. 15 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 5* TBD @ TBD Wed, Oct. 16 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 6* TBD @ TBD Fri, Oct. 18 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
Game 7* TBD @ TBD Sat, Oct. 19 TBD TBS Postseason.TVTBS.com
NLCS

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 TBD @ TBD Sat, Oct. 12 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 2 TBD @ TBD Sun, Oct. 13 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 3 TBD @ TBD Tue, Oct. 15 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 4 TBD @ TBD Wed, Oct. 16 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 5* TBD @ TBD Thu, Oct. 17 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 6* TBD @ TBD Sat, Oct. 19 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 7* TBD @ TBD Sun, Oct. 20 TBD FOX Postseason.TV 
ALCS

 

Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
Game 1 NL Champion @ AL Champion Wed, Oct. 23 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 2 NL Champion @ AL Champion Thu, Oct. 24 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 3 AL Champion @ NL Champion Sat, Oct. 26 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 4 AL Champion @ NL Champion Sun, Oct. 27 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 5* AL Champion @ NL Champion Mon, Oct. 28 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 6* NL Champion @ AL Champion Wed, Oct. 30 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
Game 7* NL Champion @ AL Champion Thu, Oct. 31 TBD FOX Postseason.TV
World Series

 

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