MLB Playoff Schedule 2013: When and Where to Watch Divisional Series Action
With the MLB playoffs under way and the Wild Card Rounds all wrapped up, it's time to start looking ahead to the eight teams that will be playing in the Divisional Series.
The Wild Card Round was exciting, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Francisco Liriano pitched a seven-inning gem, as the Pirates went on to win 6-2 and advance to the NLDS. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays took down the Cleveland Indians, shutting them out 4-0 in a relatively easy win.
With the Wild Card Rounds over and the rest of the field set, it's now time to catch some rousing baseball, and we have the full schedule right here.
National League Division Series
|Pirates vs. Cardinals|
|Game 1||Thursday, Oct. 3||5:07 p.m.||St. Louis||TBS|
|Game 2||Friday, Oct. 4||1:07 p.m.||St. Louis||MLBN|
|Game 3||Sunday, Oct. 6||TBD||Pittsburgh||TBS|
|Game 4||Monday, Oct. 7||TBD||Pittsburgh||TBS or MLBN|
|Game 5||Wednesday, Oct. 9||TBD||St. Louis||TBS|
|Braves vs. Dodgers|
|Game 1||Thursday, Oct. 3||8:37 p.m.||Atlanta||TBS|
|Game 2||Friday, Oct. 4||6:07 p.m.||Atlanta||TBS|
|Game 3||Sunday, Oct. 6||TBD||Los Angeles||TBS or MLBN|
|Game 4||Monday, Oct. 7||TBD||Los Angeles||TBS or MLBN|
|Game 5||Wednesday, Oct. 9||TBD||Atlanta||TBS|
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals
A strong pitching staff led by Liriano and A.J. Burnett will be key in their first series, going against some very powerful bats. They were second in the majors with a batting average against of .238 and an ERA of 3.26, but that won't mean anything unless these pitchers can maintain that high level of success.
For the Cardinals, they are coming off a terrific 97-65 season, tied for the best record in the MLB with the Boston Red Sox.
What makes the Cardinals so great is their terrific balance of strong pitching and even stronger hitting. Adam Wainwright leads the starting rotation, showing off a 2.94 ERA and 219 strikeouts while recording 19 wins.
The bats are dangerous nearly everywhere on the batting order. Yadier Molina has proved to be the best offensive catcher in the league, hitting .319 with 12 home runs and 80 RBI. Other guys including Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig and Matt Holliday are all hitting over .300 as well.
It's going to be a tough one for the Pirates, but when they play at home like we saw on Tuesday, anything can happen.
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Who is the best pitcher in baseball right now?
On offense, the Dodgers have some strong bats. Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez have shown a great combination of power and contact, while Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe have continued to be valuable assets as well.
While the Dodgers' pitching staff has been great, the Braves' staff has been the best in baseball. They have a team ERA of just 3.18, the best in the majors, and a WHIP of 1.20, the second best in the big leagues.
The Braves also have some power in their batting order. Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla, Evan Gattis and Brian McCann all have at least 20 home runs this season, and this team isn't afraid to swing for the fences.
This is going to be an exciting series, but with how deep the pitching staff is for the Braves, they should be able to squeeze out a couple of low-scoring wins and head to the NLCS.
American League Division Series
|Tigers vs. Athletics|
|Game 1||Friday, Oct. 4||9:37 p.m.||Oakland||TBS|
|Game 2||Saturday, Oct. 5||9:07 p.m.||Oakland||TBS|
|Game 3||Monday, Oct. 7||TBD||Detroit||TBS or MLBN|
|Game 4||Tuesday, Oct. 8||TBD||Detroit||TBS|
|Game 5||Thursday, Oct. 10||TBD||Oakland||TBS|
|Rays vs. Red Sox|
|Game 1||Friday, Oct. 4||3:07 p.m.||Boston||TBS|
|Game 2||Saturday, Oct. 5||5:37 p.m.||Boston||TBS|
|Game 3||Monday, Oct. 7||TBD||Tampa Bay||TBS or MLBN|
|Game 4||Tuesday, Oct. 8||TBD||Tampa Bay||TBS|
|Game 5||Thursday, Oct. 10||TBD||Boston||TBS|
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
Justin Verlander has taken a step back this season, but he's still one of the best pitchers in baseball. To make things better, Max Scherzer has exploded onto the scene this season, going 21-3 with an ERA of just 2.90 and 240 strikeouts in 214.1 innings.
Miguel Cabrera has been his usual self, hitting .348 with 44 home runs and 137 RBI. Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and plenty of other guys have stepped up big this season as well.
For the Athletics, not a lot of people expected them to make the playoffs this year, and they've been one of the more pleasant surprises so far. The biggest surprise has been Bartolo Colon who, at 40 years old, has gone 18-6 with an ERA of just 2.65.
The team as a whole has been fantastic, showing off a top-five pitching staff along with an offense that's produced 767 runs and is slugging .419, with both marks being the fourth best in the majors.
These two teams seem similar despite the different paths they've taken to get here, so this could be a fun one to watch.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
The Rays are happy to be coming off that 4-0 win over the Indians and a win over the Texas Rangers in Game 163, but now they have a tougher assignment.
When it comes to the Red Sox, they're one of the most exhilarating teams in baseball. They had a great 97-65 season, and their bats were the reason why. The led the MLB in runs with 853, on-base percentage with .349 and slugging percentage with .446, and were second with a .277 team batting average.
The pitching hasn't been bad either. John Lackey and Jon Lester have been effective starters, but the big story has been Koji Uehara, who has 21 saves and 13 holes in 73 appearances this season with an ERA of just 1.09 in 74.1 innings.
The Red Sox are the team to beat in the American League, but the Rays are familiar with their opponent, and there is the possibility of a big upset.
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