2013 MLB Preview: Early Postseason Look

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers - Game 4

Last year the San Francisco Giants would win their second World Series title in three years as they established what could be the dynasty of the 2010s. They will look to solidify this spot in the 2013 season but it will not be an easy road. The MLB has a number of different types of teams and there are two dominant theories on how to build a winner. There are the teams that believe that building a team from the bottom up is the way to go. These teams load up on prospects and look to build the best minor league system in the league. It is a slow process as the minor league system has to take time to develop into a solid MLB team that can win the World Series. The positive about this process is that these teams build this system for the long run as developing talent can lead to long-term success. Then there are the teams who believe that adding big name players is the way to win the World Series. It is a much faster process as a team can go from nothing to an all-star team in a matter of months. There are a few downsides to this process as team chemistry can be destroyed and these players tend to not stick around very long. When the money dries up these players will leave their teams giving them a small window to win. The positive of this process is that the talent added is immediate and can have an immediate impact for teams that might have struggled in the past. This year there are teams on different paths as some teams are looking to see payoff from their minor league systems and others are hoping that spending sprees in the offseason were the right move. In the end one theory will come out on top as only one team can win the World Series. The Giants are looking for the repeat but there are a lot of teams in the league looking to unseat them and become the next World Series Champion.

 

American League

American-League

The American League is always a competitive one but it has not produced a World Series Champion in the last three seasons. The last time an American League team would win the World Series would be when the Yankees won in 2009. There will be plenty of debate surrounding the American League this year as the times are changing and the old powers are no longer as strong. The New York Yankees are not the team that they once were as injuries and old age seem to have caught up with them. They will still make the postseason as a division champion though with, especially when you consider the fact that they will pay to fill holes if needed. They will not be the top team though as they will give way to two teams that are proving to be the new division powers. The Angels added yet another big bat to the lineup this offseason in Josh Hamilton and could reap the rewards of the move this year. The Angels already had a good team last year and Hamilton may be the piece they need to finish first in the AL. Meanwhile Detroit will be fresh off a World Series appearance and are still a very good team with good players in every aspect of the game. The Tigers could finish first but with the power of the Angels expect them to finish in second place in the AL. The two wild card spots will go into their second year as more teams will get their shot at the postseason. This year a new team may fight their way through as the newly renovated Toronto Blue Jays look to be on their way to the postseason for the first time since 1993. The Blue Jays will have growing pains this year and so they will not win the division but the wild card is not out of reach for them as they could host the second AL Wild card game ever. The Oakland Athletics will also be looking for another postseason appearance and could get it through the wild card. The A’s may take a step back from their division win a year ago but the talent is there and a wild card appearance is in the cards. These 5 teams will all be looking to bring the American League back and with the talent on these teams the champion may come out of the AL this year.

 

Postseason Standings:
Division Leaders
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Detroit Tigers
3. New York Yankees
Wild Card
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. Oakland Athletics

 

Wild Card Game:
Toronto Blue Jays 5 – 3 Oakland Athletics
– The A’s are a talented team but they will see a step back from a great season and although they have plenty of talent the Blue Jays overhaul in the offseason has added even more talent as the Jays will win their first postseason game in 20 years

 

ALDS:
Los Angeles Angels 3 – 1 Toronto Blue Jays
– The Blue Jays have the most talented all around team on paper in the MLB but rarely does an overhaul result in a championship immediately as they are not ready for it yet but the Angels could be as they will get past the Jays will little resistance

Detroit Tigers 3 – 2 New York Yankees
– The Yankees time is not completely over yet but they are seemingly at the twilight of dominance and the new dominant team will show their strength in  a good series that will see the Tigers take home the series win

 

ALCS:
Los Angeles Angels 4 – 3 Detroit Tigers
– This will not be an easy series for either team as extra innings and amazing plays are sure to dominate the ALCS but in the end one team has to win and the batting order or the Angels will prove too much for a great pitching staff as the Angels will be headed to the World Series

 

National League

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The National League has taken over from the American League dominance in recent years and five teams will look to continue that this year. There are plenty of teams that can do it in the NL as some of the most solid teams are in the National League. The rebuilders and the builders are all a part of the NL and all have a good chance of winning the World Series. One of the builders could have the best shot as the largely home-grown Washington Nationals seem to be getting better every year. This year will be no difference, as the restrictions on their ace have been removed leaving Stephen Strasburg to have an impact in the postseason. The Nats will likely finish in first with the talent they have on their team but another team will challenge them with a brand new payroll. The Los Angeles Dodgers are now the team with the biggest payroll and it will pay off as they take the division title and finish in second place in the NL. The third place spot will be taken by the Cincinnati Reds who will overcome a tough battle to win the NL Central. The Reds are a good team but a quite team as they won the division last and could do it again even with some good competition in the division. As these three teams finish in the top three they will avoid one of the most dangerous positions in the MLB. This is the wild card game that can see anything happen and even the better team lose with only one game to decide which team moves on. In this position will be two teams familiar with success as the last two World Series champions will face off in what should be a great game. The San Francisco Giants won it all last year and will face some stiff competition for the division this year. They will lose that competition but will be strong enough to take the top wild card spot and host the Wild Card game this year. The St. Louis Cardinals are a team with a roster that may not turn heads but finds ways to win. They will not win the division again this year but they will claw their way into the wild card game anyway. The National League will have some of the strongest teams in the MLB and another World Series Champion is not out of the question this year.

 

Postseason Standings:
Division Leaders
1. Washington Nationals
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Cincinnati Reds
Wild Card
4. San Francisco Giants
5. St. Louis Cardinals

 

Wild Card Game:
St. Louis Cardinals 4 – 3 San Francisco Giants
– It will be a great game for the National League as two very good teams face off for a chance at the NLDS but in the end it will be that ability to find ways to win that will push the Cardinals into the next round of the postseason

 

NLDS:
Washington Nationals 3 – 2 St. Louis Cardinals
– The Nationals had a good run in 2012 but they were missing something that could put them over the top and that something may just be Stephen Strasburg as he gets his first taste of the postseason and will help the Nats to the series win

Los Angeles Dodgers 3 – 2 Cincinnati Reds
– The Dodgers increased their payroll in a major way this year and they have to get something from that as they will take out the Reds who are a good team but may not be able to match up with the Dodgers talent

 

NLCS:
Washington Nationals 4 – 3 Los Angeles Dodgers
– The Dodgers will be only one step away from a classic Freeway Series for the World Series but they will not have enough against a very good team in the Washington Nationals who will take another step in the building phase

 

World Series:
Washington Nationals 4 – 2 Los Angeles Angels
– The Nationals would have already taken out one LA team in the NLCS and now they will take out a second as they seemed to be on their way to greatness in 2012 and will accomplish that in 2013 winning the first World Series title for Washington since moving from Montreal

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