MLB Playoff Schedule 2013: Viewer's Guide to NL and AL Postseason Slate
It's officially October, which means it's that time of the year for Major League Baseball. The World Series is up for grabs yet again as the best of the National League and American League battle for the crown.
The San Francisco Giants won't be around to defend their crown this year, finishing all of 16 games off of the Los Angeles Dodgers' lead. But that's only the beginning of the epic storylines that will unfold.
Let's take a look at the full postseason slate.
|Cincinnati (2) at Pittsburgh (6)||Tues., Oct. 1||8:07 p.m.||TBS|
|Tampa Bay at Cleveland||Wed., Oct. 2||8:07 p.m.||TBS|
|Los Angeles at Atlanta||Thurs., Oct. 3||8:37 p.m.||TBS|
|Los Angeles at Atlanta||Fri., Oct. 4||6:07 p.m.||TBS|
|Atlanta at Los Angeles||Sun., Oct. 6||TBD||TBS|
|*Atlanta at Los Angeles||Mon., Oct. 7||TBD||TBS or MLBN|
|*Los Angeles at Atlanta||Wed., Oct. 9||TBD||TBS|
|Pittsburgh at St. Louis||Thurs., Oct. 3||5:07 p.m.||TBS|
|Pittsburgh at St. Louis||Fri., Oct. 4||1:07 p.m.||MLBN|
|St. Louis at Pittsburgh||Sun., Oct. 6||TBD||TBS|
|*St. Louis at Pittsburgh||Mon., Oct. 7||TBD||TBS or MLBN|
|*Pittsburgh at St. Louis||Wed., Oct. 9||TBD||TBS|
|Detroit at Oakland||Fri., Oct. 4||9:37 p.m.||TBS|
|Detroit at Oakland||Sat., Oct. 5||9:07 p.m.||TBS|
|Oakland at Detroit||Mon., Oct. 7||TBD||TBS or MLBN|
|*Oakland at Detroit||Tues., Oct. 8||TBD||TBS|
|*Detroit at Oakland||Thurs., Oct. 10||TBD||TBS|
|Indians/Rays at Boston||Fri., Oct. 4||3:07 p.m.||TBS|
|Indians/Rays at Boston||Sat., Oct. 5||5:37 p.m.||TBS|
|Boston at Indians/Rays||Mon., Oct. 7||TBD||TBS or MLBN|
|*Boston at Indians/Rays||Tues., Oct. 8||TBD||TBS|
|*Indians/Rays at Boston||Thurs., Oct. 10||TBD||TBS|
|GAME||DATE (TIME TBD)||TV|
|Game 1||Fri., Oct. 11||TBS|
|Game 2||Sat., Oct. 12||TBS|
|Game 3||Mon., Oct. 14||TBS|
|Game 4||Tues., Oct. 15||TBS|
|*Game 5||Wed., Oct. 16||TBS|
|*Game 6||Fri., Oct. 18||TBS|
|*Game 7||Sat., Oct. 19||TBS|
|GAME||DATE (TIME TBD)||TV|
|Game 1||Sat., Oct. 12||FOX|
|Game 2||Sun., Oct. 13||FOX|
|Game 3||Tues., Oct. 15||FOX|
|Game 4||Wed., Oct. 16||FOX|
|*Game 5||Thurs., Oct. 17||FOX|
|*Game 6||Sat., Oct. 19||FOX|
|*Game 7||Sun., Oct. 20||FOX|
|GAME||DATE (TIME TBD)||TV|
|Game 1 (NL at AL)||Wed., Oct. 23||FOX|
|Game 2 (NL at AL)||Thurs., Oct. 24||FOX|
|Game 3 (AL at NL)||Sat., Oct. 26||FOX|
|Game 4 (AL at NL)||Sun., Oct. 27||FOX|
|*Game 5 (AL at NL)||Mon., Oct. 28||FOX|
|*Game 6 (NL at AL)||Wed., Oct. 30||FOX|
|*Game 7 (NL at AL)||Thurs., Oct. 31||FOX|
* if necessary
Note: All information courtesy of ESPN
Boston Red Sox—AL East
The MLB playoffs just don't seem right without the bearded Boston Red Sox in attendance, and they just so happen to hold home field advantage throughout the AL.
After garnering that accomplishment, they'll face the luxury—if you can call it that—of facing either Tampa Bay or Cleveland in a best-of-five in the ALDS.
In the first year under John Farrell, the Sox have quickly turned around a 2012 season that seemed like rock bottom for the storied franchise—trading away a slew of franchise players for what was supposed to be a rebuilding effort—into quickly building one of the most dominant clubs in baseball.
It remains to be seen if they'll build on it enough to make a run at Boston's third World Series since 2004, but if their balanced rotation and deep pool of hitters is any indication, they'll be a tough out.
Detroit Tigers—AL Central
Jim Leyland's Detroit Tigers held off one of the surprise teams in the MLB this season—the Cleveland Indians—to win the AL Central.
They'll face the AL West champion Oakland A's in the ALDS, a club that has won its division two straight seasons, despite nearly every expert writing them off every step of the way. In last year's series, Verlander's two wins (Games 1 and 5) were the difference.
Will Detroit's one-two punch of Verlander and AL Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer be enough to get them into an early lead in this series while playing Games 1 and 2 on the road?
Only time will tell.
Oakland Athletics—AL East
The A's will undoubtedly bring that "us against the world" mentality to the plate against the Tigers, and it'll be crucial how well Verlander and Scherzer—and the rest of the Tigers rotation—handle that.
The unsung heroes in Oakland have been third baseman Josh Donaldson—who leads the team in batting average, RBI and on-base percentage—and Brandon Moss (30 homers). However, they'll have to get past some bad memories from one postseason ago.
Oakland's all-around solid roster with developing talent produced the second-best record in the AL through 162 games, but will it be enough to build off and beat one of baseball's best clubs?
Atlanta Braves—NL East
It's been a lot more than a Waffle House inside Turner Field that has propelled the Braves to the top of the National League heading into October.
A couple of players have emerged in the most crucial positions possible for Atlanta. Chris Johnson has become a star at third base to replace Chipper Jones, while Justin Upton's bat got hot early and stayed there (team-leading 27 homers). Freddie Freeman has also been a catalyst, leading the NL East champs with 109 RBI.
With a couple of aces—Mike Minor and Kris Medlen—leading a balanced rotation, the Braves are awfully tough to beat and will be a tough test for the Dodgers in what should be an incredibly exciting NLDS.
St. Louis Cardinals—NL Central
The Cardinals clinched their first NL Central crown in four years and kept their mission alive to win the club's 12th World Series championship, as well as their second in three years.
Adam Wainwright has quickly developed into an MLB ace, tied for the NL lead in wins with 19 on the year. One big key to the rotation will be Lance Lynn, who notched 11 wins before the All-Star break before sputtering to a 14-win season.
Meanwhile, the offense looks to carry St. Louis to unheralded heights with Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran absolutely crushing it, and that's showing little signs of slowing down.
If the Cardinals can keep things clicking, they'll be a force in the NL postseason landscape and one of the favorites to make it to the World Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers—NL West
The rarely-devoted baseball fan might attribute the Dodgers division-winning season to the Yasiel Puig effect, but it's been much more than that in L.A.
Clayton Kershaw, to probably nobody's surprise, has staked his claim as one of the best pitchers on the planet with an unfathomable and unthinkable 1.83 ERA in 2013.
Will Kershaw be able to continue his success into October? He hasn't played in the postseason since 2009, but sports an 0-1 playoff record with a 5.87 ERA. Not exactly Kershaw numbers.
We all know the bats will be there from Los Angeles, but a solid Braves pitching staff should help quell that to some extent. A big key to this series will be how Kershaw—and the rest of the Dodgers pitching staff—transitions his game to October.
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