MLB Playoffs 2013: Wild Card Viewing Guide for Rays vs. Indians
The American League Wild Card battle between the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians takes place on Wednesday night, making this a perfect time to catch up on the matchup, find out where to watch the contest and much more.
This is now the final contest of the Wild Card series after the Pittsburgh Pirates powered past the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Wild Card Game on Tuesday evening.
Keep reading for a comprehensive viewing guide, a preview of the action and a prediction on the final score of this much-anticipated showdown.
2013 AL Wild Card Game Info
Who: Tampa Bay Rays (92-71) at Cleveland Indians (92-70)
When: Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 8:07 p.m. ET
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Starters: TB: Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76 ERA), CLE: Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12 ERA)
|Danny Salazar, CLE||5||1-1||2.52||33||6|
|Alex Cobb, TB||5||3-0||2.57||35||9|
Both teams arrive at this showdown on a hot streak, as the Indians won 10 straight regular-season games to claim the top Wild Card spot and have plenty of momentum coming into the playoffs.
According to ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, the Tribe outscored their opponents 57-24 over that 10-game span and has not committed an error over the last 90 innings. If this team can keep playing at this level it is unlikely that anyone can stop it.
However, the Rays haven’t been too shabby either and shouldn’t be written off. The club broke a regular-season tie with a decisive 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday and now has a chance to parlay that into a deep October run.
Rays manager Joe Maddon always has his players prepared for big games, and this Tampa squad seems to perform at its best when the lights are at their brightest.
The pitching duel between Cleveland rookie Danny Salazar, an enigma to most of the members of the Rays organization, and Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb, who threw a shutout against the Tribe back in April, should be one for the ages.
There are some hitters that could say otherwise, though.
As a team, Tampa is the No. 8 hitting squad in baseball with a batting average of .259. If a masher like Evan Longoria can put the lumber on at least one ball, the road team will have a very decent chance of winning.
Which team will win?
The Indians will have to figure out Cobb in order to get the victory, although it’s hard to imagine they get blanked again. This team hit .255 and scored a whopping 745 runs this year, so it should be able to get some bodies across home plate during the contest.
Expect a back-and-forth battle that comes down to fundamental baseball in the latter innings. We’re giving the home team a slight advantage in that department and expect the Tribe to advance into the ALDS.
Prediction: Cleveland 5 – Rays 4
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