Monday, September 30, 2013

The MLB Postseason Slant for 2013 - The Time Is NOW

I love how I had to wait for the American League Wild Card Playoff-Playoff to pan out. I don't like this eleventh hour business, but que sera sera. It's time for October. It's the best month of the year. It is because I said so.

Oh look, I just quoted John Cena.
And I probably just lost a bunch of readers.
Later, fools.



This season went by incredibly fast. Well, that is the season minus the last two weeks of it. Considering that there have been numerous retirement announcements from Vladimir Guerrero, Andy Pettitte, and Todd Helton, eyes have been getting pretty teary around here. All tear-ridden goodbyes aside, things have gotten pretty exciting all around the league. Races have been tight, especially the Wild Card races. It's so tight that I'm going extremely late with this post. Such is life, right?

We ready for another October blitz? The time is now, my friends.
(You can't see me.)

National League Contenders

Atlanta Braves (96-66) - After a shaky first half, and having critics slam them for not being able to capitalize with guys on base, they've shut mouths up relatively quickly. Younger guys are moving up in the ranks, and guys like Freddie Freeman keep the offense trucking along. I don't know what happened to those Upton boys though. If we're going to see these guys make it to the end, they need to keep hot and use the same formula that got them out of the nebula of confusion in the beginning months.

St. Louis Cardinals (97-65) - While it didn't look like these guys had it all the way for a little while, the Cards have been known to turn it up in the second half over the past few years. The pitching looks as great as it has been in times past. Everything just seems to click with this team, and as usual, they've been here before and can be considered a huge threat. We've got some MVP-like candidates on this team, and it's going to take everything they have to keep the fire in October.

Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) - Remember when they were dwelling in the basement after the first half? Then they realized they had the largest payroll in the National League and were like: "Oh, we should be earning this money" and they ended up going 42-8 over a 50-game stretch. I know. It was insane. I watched a lot of it. Yasiel Puig has become an overnight sensation, and Clayton Kershaw is one of the most dominant pitching forces in MLB. Everyone else follows suit.
No swimming pools here, boys.

[Wild Card] Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68) - Whoaaaaaaaa. After 20 years, these guys are back, and I won't lie, they're looking pretty darn good. The pitching staff is one of the strongest in the league, and they've picked up the pace when the offense would stumble. Behind MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, their one-game playoff against their NL Central rival should be an exciting one.

[Wild Card 2] Cincinnati Reds (90-72) - As you can tell, the NL Central is always red-hot, no pun intended.  That has mostly been attributed to their consistent pitching staffs, especially from the Reds' bullpen. Expect a massive duel of the forts against the Bucs. Legends will be made in the lineup that night. We'll see if Joey Votto can lead along.

American League Contenders

Boston Red Sox (97-65) - These guys are in it and the Yankees aren't. It's like atoms were split. Speaking of atoms, there are a lot of guys that have built this team up to be a total powerhouse, and they've been doing extremely well in fending off the opposition. The team average is tops in all of MLB, and the pitching is one of the most efficient out of the AL East contenders. Is it time to ship up to Boston this year? Building up the team like atoms are going to be key, as no man is an island in Beantown.

Detroit Tigers (93-69) - If you're looking at the team at face-value, you wouldn't be shocked. They've been doing the right things throughout the season. Their hitting is the best in the AL and they're absolutely ferocious as a staff in hitting and pitching with Miggy, Prince, and Torii at the plate, and Justin, Anibal, and Max at the mound. This team might not look extremely scary by record, but mother of pearl, they totally are. Fear these guys.

Oakland Athletics (96-66) - Are we getting a Moneyball: Round 2 this year? While the team looks slightly different than it did last year, you will see that different players pull through for the staff each night. Their pitching is especially effective, and it will make a difference against the other Division-winning teams. Bartolo Colon is a total beast, and Andrew Griffin is right behind him. Let's hope that the offense can stay strong.

[Wild Card] Cleveland Indians (92-70) - It's pretty nice to see these guys back in October again. After a few seasons of harsh animosity, we have a strong pitching staff and a clutch-at-times lineup. Will this be enough after a one-game playoff? The Rays may be riding on momentum based on their pre-playoff game, so the Wahoos have to want this in order to make it to the next level. They might not have the best of stats compared to the other contenders, but they have the smarts and the tools to turn it on.

[Wild Card 2] Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) - Nice show in the playoff-playoff, eh? These guys have a nice mix of youth and veterans that can aid each other in working out a strong playoff run. The one advantage these guys have is that they have the momentum from playing the Rangers and doing extremely well. We've seen this before. I'd like to see them make some fireworks in a playoff series.

Individual Winners

NL MVP - Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates) - He's always been toward the top in stats, and this has definitely been his year to shine. I would be severely shocked if he didn't get this one.
Next Best Choice: Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)

NL Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers) - This guy is a tank. It should tell you something if his ERA is under 2.00. That is all.
Next Best Choice: Adam Carpenter (St. Louis Cardinals)

NL Rookie of the Year - Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles Dodgers) - I'm going down the beaten path this year, but he adjusted incredibly well to his team and was a catalyst for wins at times. Sounds like a winner here.
Next Best Choice: Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins)

AL MVP - Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) - In his sophomore season, he's been breaking faces, records, and making people like me feel like I'm doing nothing with my life. Here's to hoping he doesn't fall apart after this.
Next Best Choice: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers)

AL Cy Young - Max Scherzer (Detroit Tigers) - I didn't choose this strictly on wins. He has been consistent all season and kept his cool throughout. His stats are also boasting CY numbers.
Next Best Choice: Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers)

AL Rookie of the Year - Wil Myers (Tampa Bay Rays) - He's turned it on as of late and his proving his worth under pressure. Especially with Tampa Bay's push for the postseason, that should account for something.
Next Best Choice: Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays)


While I'm sad that another baseball season is over, October is a huge cherry on top and gives the MLB season a big sendoff. Let's hope for some of that magic to come back all over again.