MLB Playoff Bracket 2013: Bold Predictions for Wild Card Round

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MLB Playoff Bracket 2013: Bold Predictions for Wild Card Round
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Does anyone still think the expansion of Major League Baseball's playoffs was a bad idea? The drama this has helped provide in the final days of the season and will provide in the Wild Card Round has been and is great for fans. 

Saying this Wild Card Round is going to provide some great theater is not one of my bold predictions. That is almost just stating a matter of fact at this point. 

I'll try to make my following predictions a little more revelatory. Below my predictions, you will be able to find the bracket and schedule for this year's postseason. 

 

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

 

National League Wild Card Round

Matchup: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

Start time: Tuesday, Oct.1, 8:07 p.m. ET

TV: TBS

Probable Starters: Johnny Cueto (5-2, 2.82 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02 ERA)

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

 

Predictions

Liriano Will Shine 

Francisco Liriano has gone through a massive revitalization since debuting with the Pirates back in May. Not only did he pick up 16 wins, but he did so while racking up more than a strikeout per inning.

What's even more pertinent, and frightening for the Reds, is Liriano's performance at PNC Park.

At PNC, the 29-year-old lefty went 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA in his 11 starts there. 

He will improve those home numbers in this huge start. Liriano will go eight innings, allow one earned run, four hits and strike out eight. 

 

Pirates Win, 3-1

The Reds have their work cut out for them. Liriano is going to handcuff the Reds' powerful lefties, and it will be hard for Cincinnati to remember it can beat this team. 

The Reds were swept by the Pirates to end the season and were outscored 16-6 in those three games. Cueto will help keep Cincinnati in this game, but it won't be enough to earn him a win. 

 

2013 American League Wild Card Round

Matchup: Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians (93-70)

Start Time: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8:07 p.m. ET

TV: TBS

Probable Starters: Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76 ERA) vs. Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12 ERA)

 

Prediction

Cleveland Will Win with a Walk-off

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Eleven times this season, the Indians have authored walk-off wins while playing at Progressive Field. They are going to add a 12th in the bright lights of the playoffs. 

It is impossible to see this game coming down to anything else. These two teams are evenly matched and win in similar ways. They are both also red-hot. The Rays impressively won 8 of 10 to finish the season, and the Tribe have been good enough to scoff at that .800 winning percentage. 

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Cleveland went unblemished over its final 10 games, and posted a plus-33 run differential in that span. 

However, they also have Danny Salazar, and the 23-year-old will be making just his 11th start in the majors for the game. Welcome to the show, kid.

Still, Salazar has the stuff. He proved that much by holding the Tigers to to four runs over 13.2 innings and posting a 15/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his two starts against that strong lineup. 

I expect Salazar to give up a few runs early. That has been a problem for him this year, and I can't see him tackling that in this setting. However, he will rebound to keep this game close, and that is when the resilient Tribe will win in their last at-bat. 

Indians win, 5-4. 

 

 

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
Game Matchup Date Time (ET) TV Streaming
AL Wild Card Tampa Bay Rays at 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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