MLB Playoff Schedule 2013: Updated Outlook on Each Division Series
The MLB Playoffs are in full swing, but little has been determined after playing two games in each series.
Two games in, three of the four series are back to square one. All but one of the series are split at 1-1, which gives squads three chances to advance past the Division Series by winning twice.
How have the teams looked early in the series? How can each squad further its World Series run? Let's take a look at the remaining games.
ALDS: Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics (Series tied 1-1)
|Game 3||Oakland @ Detroit||Mon, Oct. 7||1 p.m.||MLBN|
|Game 4||Oakland @ Detroit||Tue, Oct. 8||5 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 5*||Detroit @ Oakland||Thu, Oct. 10||9 p.m.||TBS|
Pitching has dominated early in this series, and that trend will likely persist through the next few games.
Max Scherzer lifted Detroit to an early leave by allowing two runs through seven innings, striking out 11 batters in the process. Justin Verlander upped the ante with 11 strikeouts of his own through seven shutout innings, but the world was introduced to rookie Sonny Gray.
Oakland's baby-faced hurler matched zeroes with the former Cy Young winner to help Oakland tie the series at 1-1.
In Game 4, Detroit will roll out Anibal Sanchez, who led the American League with a 2.39 FIP. Oakland will trot out sophomore Jarrod Parker, who has recorded a 3.38 ERA since a disastrous April. Doug Fister and Dan Straily will square off in Game 4.
Carrying their late-season slump into the postseason, the Tigers' potent bats have gone silent. They have collected just two extra base hits (both doubles) in the series, neither of which came from Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder.
Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes, who ended the season with a .294 on-base percentage, has collected two hits in each of the first two games. Oakland needs him to stay hot to storm past Detroit.
ALDS: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox (Red Sox lead 2-0)
|Game 3||Boston @ Tampa Bay||Mon, Oct. 7||6 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 4*||Boston @ Tampa Bay||Tue, Oct. 8||8:30 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 5*||Tampa Bay @ Boston||Thu, Oct. 10||5:30 p.m.||TBS|
After emerging victorious in two must-win games, the Rays are one loss away from going home.
The Red Sox pounded the Rays, scoring 19 runs in two games. After scoring eight runs off Matt Moore, they put up seven against 2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price behind two David Ortiz homers.
Clay Buchholz can now put the series to bed for Boston. The 29-year-old was finally realizing his potential with a dazzling 1.74 ERA, but he missed significant time with a right bursa sac strain. In his way lies Alex Cobb, who fired 6.2 shutout innings against the Cleveland Indians during the play-in game.
Even if the Red Sox can't get the job done in Game 3, Jake Peavy is waiting to take the mound for Game 4. Tampa Bay will take a chance with Jeremy Hellickson, who posted a 5.17 ERA.
NLDS: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Series tied 1-1)
|Game 3||St. Louis @ Pittsburgh||Sun, Oct. 6||4:30 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 4||St. Louis @ Pittsburgh||Mon, Oct. 7||3 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 5*||Pittsburgh @ St. Louis||Wed, Oct. 9||5 p.m.||TBS|
The two NL Central foes took turns pounding each other during the opening games.
St. Louis won Game 1, 9-1, behind a gem from Adam Wainwright and Carlos Beltran's 15th career postseason home run. Pittsburgh even the score on the road with a 7-1 victory behind six dazzling innings from rookie Gerrit Cole.
The Pirates have the advantage on the rubber on Sunday, when Francisco Liriano takes the mound after pitching them into the NLDS by beating the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card game. Afraid of working youngster Shelby Miller too many innings, the Cardinals will instead turn to Joe Kelly. While his 2.69 ERA suggests he deserves his honor, his 4.01 FIP and 1.80 K/BB ratio don't bode as well for the righty.
Game 4 is a different story, as St. Louis will unleash rookie Michael Wacha, who came one out short of firing a no-hitter during his final start of the season. Wacha earned a 2.78 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 65 strikeouts during 64.2 innings.
Pedro Alvarez has homered in each game for Pittsburgh while Matt Adams has stepped up for the injured Allen Craig, reaching base in five of nine plate appearances.
NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves (Series tied 1-1)
|Game 3||Atlanta @ LA Dodgers||Sun, Oct. 6||8 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 4||Atlanta @ LA Dodgers||Mon, Oct. 7||8:30 p.m.||TBS|
|Game 5*||LA Dodgers @ Atlanta||Wed, Oct. 9||9:30 p.m.||TBS|
These squads boasted the two best team ERAs during the season, so what did you expect?
The clubs have scored a combined 14 runs through two games, and pitching should continue to take center stage.
Clayton Kershaw and Mike Minor have strutted their stuff, but rookies Hyun Jin-Ryu and Julio Teheran will get their chance during Game 3. Teheran registered a 3.20 ERA and 8.24 K/9 ratio during his first full season while Ryu has adjusted well to the majors with a 3.00 ERA and 3.24 FIP.
Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig have done their best to carry a top-heavy lineup, but Justin Upton can't say the same for Atlanta. After smashing 12 homers in a sensational April, Upton hit just 15 after that and has yet to collect a hit during the playoffs.
* If necessary
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