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MLB Playoff Bracket 2013: Breaking Down Wild Card and Divisional Round

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MLB Playoff Bracket 2013: Breaking Down Wild Card and Divisional Round
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Bring on the playoffs.

With a memorable baseball season in the books, eight teams still have dreams of World Series glory to chase, and the parity in this year's postseason is impressive. Just seven wins separates these eight teams, and just five wins separates the particularly tight American League. 

Let's take a closer look at how the wild card and divisional rounds will play out.

 

Wild Card Round

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Any one-game playoff is incredibly difficult to predict, because, well, it's baseball, and crazy things can completely affect the outcome of a single game. 

In the National League, each team has certain advantages. The Pittsburgh Pirates are at home, for instance, and went 11-8 against the Cincinnati Reds (including a three-game sweep to end the season). The momentum lies with the Pirates.

But momentum in baseball is the next day's starting pitcher, and for the Reds, that falls on Johnny Cueto, who has pitched just twice since going on the disabled list in June. Meanwhile, the Pirates will go with Francisco Liriano, their ace this year.

Everything points to Pittsburgh in this one. 

In the American League, the Indians come into this game red-hot, having won 10 in a row and 15 of their last 17. They'll avoid David Price after he pitched against the Texas Rangers on Monday and Matt Moore as well, though Alex Cobb did beat them in April. 

Still, I like the Indians to survive the one-game series. 

Prediction: Pirates and Indians move on.

 

Divisional Series

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers are my World Series pick, so I have to stick to my guns here. For as solid as the Athletics rotation is, I don't think Oakland has an answer for Detroit's top three of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez.

Add in the fact that nobody in baseball has an answer for Miguel Cabrera, and I see the Tigers winning in five.

The Indians have had a wonderful season, but their run will end against the Boston Red Sox. Boston has too much balance in its lineup and a good enough rotation to get past an Indians team that is only going to get better as their young stars gain experience. Boston takes it in four. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to handle the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta can't match LA's one-two punch of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, though the Braves bullpen is excellent. Oh, and before you worry about Matt Kemp being shelved for the duration of the season, remember that the Dodgers were 42-8 without him this year.

The Dodgers win in four. 

Finally, we turn to the Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, with Pittsburgh holding the slightest of advantages in the season series, 10-9. The balance of the Cardinals is pretty impressive, and having Adam Wainwright potentially for Game 1 and Game 5 could be the difference. 

The Pirates have an excellent pitching staff, but would it be enough to quiet the bats of the dangerous Cardinals? St. Louis is plenty familiar with the postseason, and that experience gives the Cards the edge here. They take it in five.

Prediction: Tigers, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cardinals advance.

 

Harry How/Getty Images

Here's a full look at the bracket and schedule for this year's postseason:


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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