MLB Playoff Bracket 2013: Projecting How Postseason Will Unfold to World Series
The 2013 MLB postseason is in full swing, and although three of the four five-game division series are yet to be decided, it isn't too early to project how things will play out leading up to the World Series.
Certain teams have separated themselves from the rest, and the one that stands out most is the Boston Red Sox. After winning the American League pennant, Jon Farrell's club couldn't quite close out the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, but should be able to get the job done in the next two games.
As for the National League, it's hard to argue against the Los Angeles Dodgers as the favorites after the club capped off a four-game ousting of the Atlanta Braves.
Here is a list of predictions as to how the rest of the bracket will play out, including a pick for the World Series champion.
Note: For a complete MLB playoff bracket, visit MLB.com.
Dodgers defeat Cardinals in 6 Games in NLCS
Clayton Kershaw's dominance almost single-handedly got the Dodgers through to the NLCS, as he pitched a second straight great performance in a Game 4 clinching victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Victory lap for Clayton Kershaw: pic.twitter.com/82ggFQcLj0— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 8, 2013
Who should be favored to win the World Series?
That isn't a good sign for the Cardinals, who needed a near no-hitter from rookie Michael Wacha to stave off elimination on Monday to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Give me Kershaw over any Cardinals pitcher, though, and chances are the Dodgers are coming out on top thanks to better offensive firepower.
Adrian Gonzalez led LA with 22 home runs and 100 RBI in 2013 and has plenty of others to help him, such as Hanley Ramirez, who hit 20 dingers in just 86 games and batted .345.
Ramirez was also a homer away from the cycle in Game 3's 13-6 romp in Atlanta, and should continue his resurgence after two down seasons in leading the Dodgers to their first World Series berth since 1988.
Red Sox defeat Athletics in 5 Games in ALCS
Fresh off a four-game elimination of the AL East rival Rays in the ALDS, the Boston Red Sox will be able to handle the A's with ease by overpowering them with superior offense.
Oakland is a resilient team though, evident in its Game 3 win over the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS on Monday. When the hosting Tigers evened the score at three with all three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, the A's bounced back and put up three of their own in the next half-inning.
Led by Brandon Moss, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and Coco Crisp, the Athletics have plenty of power in their batting order, and swatted three home runs off the Tigers' Anibal Sanchez:
But between the quality pitching Boston has and its amazing lineup keyed by David Ortiz, there is little hope for the lower-seeded A's to get to the October Classic.
Boston has the best combination of hitting—it led the MLB in runs during the regular season—and starting pitching between Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey to dominate the A's.
Combine that with a stalwart closer in Koji Uehara, who had a 0.28 ERA after the All-Star break, and the Red Sox have all the ingredients of a championship ball club.
World Series winner: Boston Red Sox over Los Angeles Dodgers
This has all the makings of an epic World Series, should this matchup be the one to transpire.
Both teams are loaded, and storylines are aplenty.
Ramirez came through the Red Sox minor league system, and Carl Crawford was a mostly failed, expensive investment by Boston and has since thrived in the City of Angels.
LA has the starting pitching to match up with the Red Sox, and Kershaw can win two games on his own no matter who he's facing. Plus, Yasiel Puig is showing no signs of shying away from the spotlight on the postseason stage, hitting 6-for-13 so far.
However, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal summarized how the Red Sox have been playing well on Monday evening:
#RedSox again putting on an all-around show. Playing exquisite baseball right now.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 7, 2013
The superior experience of Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and the veteran Red Sox will allow them to capitalize on home-field advantage and win a World Series Game 7 at Fenway Park over the Dodgers.
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