Now that the playoff fields have been set, it’s time to determine just how the month of October will play out. To recap, the playoff teams will be as follows:
AL: East – Blue Jays, Central – Tigers, West – Angels, Wild Card – A’s, Yankees
NL: East – Nationals, Central – Reds, West – Dodgers, Wild Card – Giants, Braves
Both of the Bay Area teams will have made the postseason, but will have to win the very frightening 1 game wild card playoff to get a chance to play in the Division Series. They will both do just that. The A’s will have to go to Yankee Stadium, but will overcome the atmosphere in New York to advance to the ALDS where they will have a rematch with the team that eliminated them in 2012, the Detroit Tigers. The Giants will advance from the wild card game at AT&T Park to square off against the Washington Nationals.
ALDS: A’s vs. Tigers, Blue Jays vs. Angels
NLDS: Giants vs. Nationals, Reds vs. Dodgers
I see the A’s exacting revenge on the Motor City Kitties, and overcoming Justin Verlander‘s mile wide strike zone to advance to the ALCS where they will come face to face with their familiar foes, the division rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Nationals will prove too strong for the Giants with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez rendering the Giants bats worthless, they’ll advance to take on the most expensive team in MLB history, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
ALCS: A’s vs. Angels
NLCS: Nationals vs. Dodgers
The A’s and the Angels almost always seem to play close games, and their season series are always fairly even, so it seems silly not to expect them to play to a 7 game ALCS. I see the Angels being able to outlast the Athletics though, and advancing to their second World Series in franchise history. The arms race between the Dodgers and the Angels has gotten them to the middle of October, but can it get them both to the Fall Classic? The answer is no. The Washington Nationals are not as flashy as the Dodgers, or anywhere near as expensive, but they are more talented, and they will be able to overcome the Dodgers’ star power to advance to their first World Series ever.
World Series: Angels vs. Nationals
Most A’s fans will be pulling very hard for the Nationals in this series, not just because the Angels just dispatched their boys from the playoffs, but because of the presence of former A’s Gio Gonzalez and Kurt Suzuki. The Nationals proved they weren’t quite ready for the big stage last year, but this year will be different. They’ve built a team to win now, and win in the future, and this will be the first of quite possibly multiple World Series titles for the team from our nation’s capital.
Robinson Cano will get the votes because he will put the broken down Yankees team on his back as he plays out his walk year in New York. He’ll fend off strong pushes from Mike Trout of the Angels, and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. Matt Kemp will prove once again why he’s one of the game’s very best when healthy as he leads the Dodgers to overcome the defending champs in the NL West.
Cy Young: AL – Justin Verlander, NL – Stephen Strasburg
Verlander just got paid in a big way, and he’ll show everyone why he’s the highest paid pitcher in MLB history as he returns to his ultra dominant form of 2011. Strasburg had Cy Young potential from the moment he was drafted by the Nationals, after his Tommy John surgery and the innings limit that followed, he’ll be free to let it fly in 2013, and it will be a treat to watch.
I still can’t believe the Royals traded Wil Myers, even if it netted them James Shields from the Rays. He’ll go to the minors guy service time purposes at the beginning of the year, but he’ll terrorize the AL from the point he’s called up. Teheran has looked utterly dominant this spring, and while spring numbers don’t have any tangible impact on regular season performance, he’ll be able to make his performance carry over. He was once regarded as one of the top pitching prospects as recent as last year, and he’ll remind everyone why in 2013.
So there you have it, now you don’t even need to watch a single game of the 2013 season because you already know everything that will happen. Sit back, relax, and enjoy all the free time you’ve just gained.