MLB Playoffs 2013: Teams with Best Chance to Win the World Series
Now that every team has played at least one playoff game, here's a look at which teams have the best chance to win the World Series based on talent.
Regardless of how the early games of the series have played out, these are the teams that are the most dangerous. There is no clear favorite in the field, so each one of these teams should be viewed as contenders.
After what the San Francisco Giants did last year, fans shouldn't give up on any series until it's complete. The Giants overcame a pair of two-game deficits in the first two rounds in 2012 before winning the championship.
Below are the matchups for the American League Division Series and the National League Division Series, followed by the teams with the best chance to win the World Series.
|ALDS||No. 5 Tampa Bay Rays at No. 1 Boston Red Sox||NLDS||No. 4 Pittsburgh Pirates at No. 1 St. Louis Cardinals|
|ALDS||No. 3 Detroit Tigers at No. 2 Oakland Athletics||NLDS||No. 3 Los Angeles Dodgers at No. 2 Atlanta Braves|
Los Angeles Dodgers
Nobody should be shocked by the Los Angeles Dodgers making this list. No team in the field has more star power that Los Angeles, and the Dodgers should be viewed as the favorites despite being the third seed in the National League.
Pitching wins championships, and no team has a better rotation than the Dodgers. Their rotation was by far the best in the league this year with a 3.13 ERA. No other team finished below 3.40, and they are led by a pair of aces.
Likely NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw went 16-9 and posted a 1.83 ERA this year. He led the league in ERA and strikeouts, and he looked dominant on Thursday. He struck out 12 Atlanta Braves over seven innings in a victory.
Former AL Cy Young winner Zack Grienke posted a record of 15-4 with a 2.64 ERA this season. He lost only once in his final 12 starts of the regular season. Rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu gives the team a third dominant starter, as the rookie had an ERA of 3.00 this year.
Kershaw and Greinke could each pitch at least twice in a series, so good luck to any team that has to face them.
The rotation is great, and the lineup is strong enough to score runs.
Carl Crawford sets the tone atop the order, and the rest of the lineup is filled with stars. Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig are all productive bats. Mark Ellis hit .270 this season, so he also provides help on offense.
Los Angeles has a combination of speed, power and average in its lineup. When you add all of that to its pitching, it is a very dangerous team.
Like Los Angeles, the Detroit Tigers are the third seed in their league. They may be viewed as the favorites because of their experience. The Tigers made it to the World Series last year and only got better this season.
Last year's team didn't have Victor Martinez, so the lineup is much stronger. Prince Fielder is a huge bat in the middle of the order, but Detroit's hopes rest on the shoulders of Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera is the best hitter in the game, but he has battled injuries for much of this season. If he is unable to swing the bat the way he is capable of, the Tigers stand very little chance. However, he can carry this team to a championship if he can be productive through the pain.
The lineup is strong, but also like the Dodgers, Detroit is built on pitching. When Justin Verlander is the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation right now, that's saying something.
Max Scherzer is likely to win the AL Cy Young after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA. Verlander may have had a down year, but he is still a great pitcher. The third pitcher in the rotation, Anibal Sanchez, led the American League in ERA.
Detroit's bullpen ranked in the bottom half of baseball, but the starters are strong enough to go deep into games and limit the relievers.
Again, if Cabrera shows that he is healthy enough to be a force, this will be a team to watch in October.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis finished with the second-best rotation ERA in baseball, but it also has a deep lineup.
Adam Wainwright leads the staff, and he has proven to be a strong pitcher in October. He is 3-0 and has a career 2.27 ERA in 14 postseason games.
Lance Lynn, who has won 34 games in the last two seasons, will follow Wainwright. Joe Kelly doesn't have much experience, but he went 10-2 after joining the rotation in June.
Who will win the 2013 World Series?
The Cardinals may have the deepest lineup in baseball. It all starts with Matt Carpenter at the top, and the rest of the lineup can hit. Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina are the biggest names in the lineup. However, nearly everyone has carried their weight.
St. Louis shattered the all-time record with a .330 average with runners in scoring position. That's insane. It's also the type of hitting that wins in October, so watch out for the Cardinals.
Allen Craig, who hit .454 with runners in scoring position and knocked in 97 runs despite missing most of September, is a big loss. He may not play in the postseason after suffering a foot injury in early September. Matt Adams is a big-time power threat, but he's no Craig.
The Cardinals made an incredible run to win the World Series in 2011, but it would not be a surprise to see them win it this year.
All stats are courtesy of MLB.com.
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