With the 2013 American and National League Division Series beginning Thursday, there's no need to look any further for all the available viewing information for Games 1 and 2 of each series.
The Pittsburgh Pirates earned their way into the NLDS with a win over the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card Game. Pittsburgh will travel to St. Louis to take on the NL's best team in 2013, the Cardinals.
In the other NL series, the Los Angeles Dodgers will hit the road to take on the Atlanta Braves.
The Boston Red Sox finished with the best record in the AL this season and will play host to the winner of the AL Wild Card Game, which will be determined on Wednesday with the Cleveland Indians welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays into town.
The young Oakland Athletics are looking to confirm their status as a top MLB team in what will be a tough series against the Detroit Tigers, who will be visiting for the first two games of the series.
Here's a look at the schedule for Games 1 and 2 of each division series.
For the full television schedule for the playoffs, go to MLB's official site.
Games broadcast on TBS can also be viewed on the channel's official site.
|Game 1||Pittsburgh @ St. Louis||Thu, Oct 3||5:00 PM||TBS|
|Game 2||Pittsburgh @ St. Louis||Fri, Oct 4||1:00 PM||MLBN|
|Game 1||LA Dodgers @ Atlanta||Thu, Oct 3||8:30 PM||TBS|
|Game 2||LA Dodgers @ Atlanta||Fri, Oct 4||6:00 PM||TBS|
|Game 1||AL Wild Card @ Boston||Fri, Oct 4||3:00 PM||TBS|
|Game 2||AL Wild Card @ Boston||Sat, Oct 5||5:30 PM||TBS|
|Game 1||Detroit @ Oakland||Fri, Oct 4||9:30 PM||TBS|
|Game 2||Detroit @ Oakland||Sat, Oct 5||9:00 PM||TBS|
Favorites to Make World Series Run
Boston Red Sox (97-65)
A year after finishing with a horrid 69-93 record that earned them a last-place finish in the American League East, the Red Sox stormed back in 2013 to record the best record in the majors at 97-65. Such an impressive mark will give Boston home-field advantage throughout their AL playoff run.
Boston has been impressive on offense, as it ranks No. 1 in runs (853), on-base percentage (.349) and slugging percentage (.446), as well as second in team average (.273). David Ortiz (30 HR, 103 RBI) is Boston's biggest offensive threat, but he's also got tons of support in players like Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia, to name a few.
The Red Sox pitching staff hasn't been as elite, as it ranks No. 14 in ERA (3.79), No. 15 in WHIP (1.30) and No. 10 in batting average against (.248). Despite that, the Sox are third in quality starts (95) and successfully navigated through one of the toughest offensive divisions in baseball.
Boston has one of the more formidable rotations from top to bottom in the postseason. With guys like Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA), Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 ERA) and Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) leading the rotation, the Red Sox have incredible depth before even mentioning John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA).
Adding to that, a bullpen combination of Junichi Tazawa and closer Koji Uehara (21 saves, 1.09 ERA) makes the final two innings of any game the Red Sox have a lead in a near automatic win. With everything combined, Boston comes into the postseason as one of the most complete teams in the hunt for the World Series.
St. Louis Cardinals (97-65)
The Cardinals were just one win shy of making the World Series in 2012 and will have a major chip on their shoulder coming into the postseason. Regardless, the Cards won the 2011 World Series and could turn themselves into a minor dynasty with another in 2013.
St. Louis has been outstanding on both sides of the diamond this season, leading to the best record in the National League. With a No. 3 ranking in runs (783) and on-base percentage (.332), it's clear the Cards can not only get runners on base but can drive them in as well.
A No. 4 ranking in batting average (.269) means the Cards have plenty of great hitters, led by Allen Craig (13 homers, 97 RBI, .315 batting average) and veterans Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina.
Not surprisingly, the Cardinals have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. St. Louis is No. 5 in ERA (3.42), No. 8 in WHIP (1.24), No. 12 in batting average against (.249) and have enjoyed 88 quality starts, which is good enough for No. 13 in the majors.
Taking it a step further, the Cardinals have a stellar rotation that finished No. 2 in ERA (3.42). That rotation boasts ace Adam Wainright (19-9, 2.94 ERA), Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA), Shelby Miller (15-9, 3.06 ERA) and Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA). With closer Edward Mujica struggling, the biggest question coming into October is this team's bullpen.
The Cards have a ton of experience on their side and as long as their bullpen can hold up against tough playoff competition, St. Louis should be competing for yet another World Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70)
The Dodgers staked themselves to the title of the league's hottest team from late June through the entire month of August. However, they come into these playoffs limping a bit after going just 12-15 in September and losing star outfielder Matt Kemp for the remainder of the season.
Still, the Dodgers have been without Kemp for most of the season, as he played in just 73 games and missed the majority of the time when Los Angeles was on fire. The Dodgers finished No. 17 in runs (649), No. 6 in batting average (.264), No. 9 in on-base percentage (.326) and No. 15 in slugging (.396).
Without Kemp, the Dodgers sports a premier run producer in Adrian Gonzalez (100 RBI) and one of the best young players on the planet in 22-year-old Cuban-born star Yasiel Puig (19 HR, 42 RBI, .319 AVG). On top of that, the Dodgers have done a decent job stealing bases (78) and are No. 3 in the league in sacrifice hits (71), so they can help make it easier to score runs if need be.
The biggest bright spot for the Dodgers is their pitching staff. Los Angeles is No. 2 in ERA (3.25), No. 6 in WHIP (1.23), No. 5 in batting average against and No. 7 in quality starts (93).
The Dodgers also sport two bona fide aces in Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) and Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA), making them a nightmare matchup for opposing lineups, which is especially true in a short playoff series. As a collective unit, the Dodgers' starting rotation ERA is the best in baseball (3.13), with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco rounding out their top four.
Los Angeles has been a middle-of-the-road team in relief with their 3.49 bullpen ERA being No. 13 in baseball. However, closer Kenley Jansen has been excellent (28 saves, 1.88 ERA) and is a candidate to pitch more than one inning each night, thus helping to shorten games for the Dodgers.
This team may be missing a key player, but the Dodgers still have more than enough talent to get the job done and make an impact in the postseason.
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