Skip to main content

User login

MLB Playoffs Heating Up As Final 4 Teams Are Set To Square Off

October 17, 2013 by admin

A Column
By John Sorce

     The Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals, four of the most storied and historic franchises in the game today, have all advanced to the League Championship Series. The Tigers will take on the Red Sox in the ALCS and the Dodgers will take on the Cardinals in the NLCS.
     The Tigers won the American League Central with a 93-69 record. This will be their third consecutive trip to the ALCS. The team is led by reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, as well as Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer. The Tigers are known for their power and starting pitching. They lost to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series last year, and they entered the year with lofty expectations given their past success and structure of their ball club.
     The Red Sox won the American League East and clinched home field advantage with a league best 97-65 record. The team has bounced back in a big way after finishing in last place with 69 wins in 2012, the seventh worst record in all of baseball. Over the offseason the team made numerous changes to overhaul their ball club, including installing their former pitching coach John Farrell as their manager as well as bringing in free agents Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Mike Napoli, Johnny Gomes, and Ryan Dempster among others, as well as acquiring Jake Peavy at the trade deadline. The new players brought a different culture into a clubhouse that has had a difficult past few seasons, but they meshed well with the players they already had, and the team took off.
     The teams match up evenly head to head. Both teams have good hitting and excellent pitching. In the end, I see the Tigers winning the series in seven games.
     The Dodgers won the National League West with a 92-70 record. They got off to a slow start, and manager Don Mattingly was even on the hot seat. However, the promotion of top prospect Yasiel Puig from their Double-A affiliate as well as the return of Hanley Ramirez from the disabled list, has provided a spark on the entire team. The Dodgers won the most games out of any team in baseball in the second half of the season.    They are led by their terrific starting pitching, with 2011’s Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, who will likely take the award home again, leading the way. They also have another former Cy Young winner in Zack Greinke as their number two starter, who would be an ace on many clubs.
     The Cardinals won the National League Central with a 97-65 record. They also clinched home field advantage with the best record in the National League. The Cardinals are one of the best organizations of drafting and developing their own players; 17 of the 25 players on their roster were homegrown players that came up through their farm system. They have a great, young pitching staff that consists of Michael Wacha, Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez, and Trevor Rosenthal. The rotation is led by their ace, veteran Adam Wainwright. On offense, the Cardinals are led by the best catcher in the game in MVP candidate Yadier Molina. They have star power, with players such as Carlos Beltran and Matt Holiday in the middle of the lineup. They also have some role players that tend to fly under the radar, like Matt Carpenter, who led the National League with 199 hits in his first full season in the majors.
     This is going to be another exciting series with two very evenly matched teams. I also see this series going seven games, with the Cardinals bringing home the National League pennant. Whatever happens, it is sure to be an exciting ride all the way to the end.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes