2013 MLB League Championship Series Preview
The Tigers advanced Thursday to join the Red Sox, Dodgers and Cardinals in the field for Major League Baseball's 2013 League Championship Series. Here's a preview of the next round of the baseball playoffs in the National and American leagues:
NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
How They Got Here:The National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves three games to one in one NL Divisional Series, while the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals were pushed to the brink of elimination by the Pittsburgh Pirates before outlasting them in Game 5 on Wednesday. The Dodgers won the season series against the Cardinals, 4-3
Pitching Match-ups: Game 1 — Dodgers' Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA) vs. Cardinals' Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA); Game 2 — Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) vs. Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78); Game 3 — Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00) vs. Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94).
The Dodgers Will Win If…Kershaw and Greinke can hold down the pesky Cardinals lineup led by Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran for seven or more innings. The two aces are scheduled to make four starts, if necessary. With Brian Wilson setting up closer Kenley Jansen in the Los Angeles bullpen, if the Dodgers lead after seven, the game is all but over.
The Cardinals Will Win If…St. Louis starters can work deep into games and shut down Dodgers catalysts like Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford. The Dodgers bats can outslug the Cards, whose bullpen is their biggest weakness.
Game 1 L.A. Dodgers at St. Louis Fri, Oct. 11 8:30 p.m. on TBS
Game 2 L.A. Dodgers at St. Louis Sat, Oct. 12 4:00 p.m. on TBS
Game 3 St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers Mon, Oct. 14 8:00 p.m. on TBS
Game 4 St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers Tue, Oct. 15 8:00 p.m. on TBS
Game 5* St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers Wed, Oct. 16 4:00 p.m. on TBS
Game 6* L.A. Dodgers at St. Louis Fri, Oct. 18 8:30 p.m. on TBS
Game 7* L.A. Dodgers at St. Louis Sat, Oct. 19 8:30 p.m. on TBS
ALCS: Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
How They Got Here: The American League Central champion Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland A's three games to two in one American League Divisional Series, while the AL East-champion Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays three games to one in their ALDS.
Pitching Match-ups: Game 1 - Tigers' Anibal Sanchez (0-1, 10.38 ERA) vs. Red Sox Jon Lester (1-0, 2.35 ERA); Game 2 Max Scherzer (2-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-0, 4.50 ERA); Game 3 Justin Verlander (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. John Lackey (1-0, 6.75 ERA); Game 4 - Doug Fister (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (0-0, 1.59 ERA).
The Red Sox Will Win If…Boston keeps the Tigers bats even more silent than they were during the ALDS with Oakland. Detroit beat the A's despite Miguel Cabrera playing with a groin injury and Prince Fielder being held without an extra-base hit. Tigers like Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta and others need to be stifled by the Boston starters.
The Tigers Will Win If…Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer can out-pitch their counterparts. With David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and others, Boston's lineup is loaded with pop and can ignite quickly. The Detroit 'pen can cause more rallies than it extinguishes, so the starters need to get it done.
Game 1 Detroit at Boston Sat, Oct. 12 8:00 p.m. on Fox
Game 2 Detroit at Boston Sun, Oct. 13 8:00 p.m. on Fox
Game 3 Boston at Detroit Tue, Oct. 15 8:00 p.m. on Fox
Game 4 Boston at Detroit Wed, Oct. 16 8:00 p.m. on Fox
Game 5* Boston at Detroit Thu, Oct. 17 8:00 p.m. on Fox
Game 6* Detroit at Boston Sat, Oct. 19 8:00 p.m. on Fox
Game 7* Detroit at Boston Sun, Oct. 20 8:00 p.m. on Fox
* — if necessary