The LA Dodgers may be the hottest team entering the 2013 MLB post season. This is the same team fans and media members wanted to let go their manager Don Mattingly. The team was sitting in dead last and looked on the verge of another losing season. Then a call-up of Yasiel Puig and a hot streak winning 42 of 50 games leads them to a National League West title.
The National League is a wide open race but the Dodgers have one advantage over the rest of the teams. That advantage is they have the best starting pitcher in the National League in Clayton Kershaw.
3 Reasons why the Dodgers win the World Series:
Clayton Kershaw - Kershaw dominated again in 2013 with an opportunity to pick up not only the Cy Young award but also the NL MVP award. He finished the season with 16 wins and a 1.83 earned run average.
Hanley Ramirez - Ramirez missed a lot of time in 2013 but still played a key role in the teams hot run. In 89 games Ramirez finished with 20 home-runs and 57 runs batted in.
Top of Starting Rotation -The Dodgers have the best number one and two starters in the NL with Kershaw and Zach Greinke. In a best of five series both of these pitchers are capable of going out on short rest and picking up a big win.
2 Reasons why the Dodgers won’t win the World Series:
Don Mattingly - Mattingly deserves a lot of credit for getting them here as he sat on the hot seat and still was able to get them ready to play each day. The disadvantage for him is he doesn’t have post season experience and sometimes a bad decision might cost them in a short series.
Bullpen - They have pitched great at times for the Dodgers the only concern is the amount of appearances they have made. Three of their key bullpen members made 75 or more appearances in 2013.
The Detroit Tigers head into the 2013 MLB post season as the team to beat in the American League. This doesn’t always mean they will be the team to win the World Series but they have a strong lineup and a very strong pitching rotation.
As you compare them to the American league teams including the other two division champions the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s they have the edge in both hitting and pitching. We will take a look at three reasons why they and won’t win the World Series.
3 Reasons why the Detroit Tigers will win the World Series:
Miguel Cabrera - Cabrera has battled injuries down the stretch but still held on to win the AL batting crown. Cabrera didn’t win the triple crown but his stats this season were better than last season.
Justin Verlander - Verlander is no longer considered the ace of the rotation but has the ability to win games against any opposing team number one or two starter.
Depth of Starting Rotation - It will be very hard for any team in the American League to stack up against Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, and Anibal Sanchez. These four starters combined for 62 wins in 2013.
2 Reasons why the Detroit Tigers will not win the World Series:
Joaquin Benoit - Benoit has looked good at closing out games but is very new to the closer role. He has blown two saves over the course of his last four chances.
Miguel Cabrera - Now performance wise no but health concerns have me worried over Cabrera. If one of his multiple injuries pop up during the post season it could cost the Tigers a trip to the World Series.
Pittsburgh accomplished a big feat this year, something they haven’t since 1993. They finished with a winning record and make the playoffs. This came after a 2012 season late season collapse which helped build character around the team. The team also made a few trades this year to help anchor the lineup and provide depth for the playoff run.
The Pirates are led by Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez. These two young stars look to lead the Pirates in the postseason. The two combined for 57 home-runs and 184 runs batted in.
3 Reasons why the Pirates win the World Series:
Andrew McCutchen – The possible National League MVP did it all for the Pirates this year and will get his first crack at the post season. Look for the Pirates team leader to help lead them in the post season.
Francisco Liriano – Liriano has dominated for the Pirates pitching to a 3.02 earned run average and picking up 16 wins.
Justin Morneau – Morneau was acquired late to provide some pop in the lineup and play good defense at first base. He is also has playoff experience under his belt batting .310 with two home-runs in seven playoff games with the Minnesota Twins.
2 Reasons why the Pirates won’t win the World Series:
Lack of Playoff Experience – The Pirates are making their first playoff appearance since 1993. The pressure could be amounting on the players and coaches to win for the city of Pittsburgh.
Pirates defense – The Pirates finished 22nd in the league in field committing 106 errors this season. Any type of mistakes in the postseason could turn a win into a loss.
The Reds enter the 2013 MLB Playoffs on a bad note after losing five straight games down the stretch. The losing streak helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the NL central and the Pittsburgh Pirates to host the wild card game.
Three of the five losses were to the Pirates with the other two coming against the New York Mets. All five of the losses were at home with the biggest concern being lack of offense. In the five losses the team combined to score eight runs with three of the runs coming in one game.
3 Reasons why the Reds win the World Series:
Joey Votto – Votto a former National League MVP has the potential to carry the Reds through the playoffs and into the World Series. Votto batted .305 with 24 home-runs and 73 runs batted in during the regular season.
Jay Bruce – Bruce lead the Reds with 30 home-runs and 109 runs batted in during the regular season. If the Reds want to win they need Bruce and Votto to get hot in the postseason.
Dusty Baker – The three time manager of the year also won a World Series as a player is a good enough manager to lead the Reds deep into the playoffs.
2 Reasons why the Reds won’t win the World Series:
Lack of offense – If the Reds offense doesn’t get the bats going it could be one and done for them in the wild card round.
Johnny Cueto – Despite pitching well in 11 starts this season the lack of playoff experience has me concerned as Cueto goes against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight.
The Rays are built around a strong starting rotation led by the teams ace David Price. The other side to the Rays is the way they are managed by Joe Maddon. Maddon likes to play the numbers and use a lot of statistics before and during games with the way he manages his bullpen, lineup and exactly how the fielding alignment is set up.
The Rays took care of business in the 163rd game of the season against the Texas Rangers. Only one team had an opportunity to make it to the post season and it would be the Rays.
3 Reasons why the Rays win the World Series:
Evan Longoria – One of the MLB’s best third baseman finished the 2013 MLB season with 32 home-runs and 88 runs batted in. If the Rays have a chance they need Longoria to help the offense produce runs.
David Price – Price dominated in the play in game against the Texas Rangers that help get the Rays to the wild card round. He can take over any game and shut down opposing lineups.
Joe Maddon – One of the games brightest head coaches that understands what it takes to win ball games as he has lead the Rays to the post season four of the last six seasons.
2 Reasons why the Rays won’t win the World Series:
Joe Maddon – Yes Maddon is featured on both of these lists. The downfall for him is sometimes he plays to much of the numbers game and it has cost them a few times this season.
Lack of Power – The Rays lineup has only Evan Longoria with more than 18 home-runs. This might cost them if they have to go up against a powerful Detroit Tigers lineup and even a team like the Pirates in the World Series.
What a difference a season makes for one team. Last season the Indians finished fourth in the American League Central and lost 94 games. The biggest difference is the hiring of Terry Francona. Francona understands what it takes to win games at the Major League level leading the Boston Red Sox to multiple World Series titles.
The Indians also brought in veteran leadership with Nick Swisher to mix in with the young nucleus of players on the team.
3 Reasons why the Indians win the World Series:
Terry Francona – No one saw the Indians making the change in one year entering the 2013 season. That is what you get when you have one of the games best managers leading your team.
Nick Swisher – The veteran leadership of Swisher helps now that its playoff time. Swisher has played in the post season and will help take the pressures off of some of the younger guys on the team.
Team Speed – The Indians stole a 117 bases during the regular season. Along with the ability to steal bases the speed plays a key role in advancing runners on hits to the opposite field as well as runners advancing on sac flies. The Indians ranked 2nd in baseball with 56 sacrifices during the regular season.
2 Reasons why the Indians won’t win the World Series:
Danny Salazar – The inexperienced Salazar takes the nod in the first round of the playoffs. Salazar will be making his 11th start of the 2013 MLB season and one of the biggest games of his young career.
Bullpen – The Indians bullpen has blown 22 save opportunities this season and a 3.62 combined earned run average. As we have seen it in years past a bad bullpen could cost you a trip to the World Series.
The Cardinals may be the best of the hitting teams in the National league and possibly in Major League Baseball. They lack a true power hitter but rank in the top of the league in batting average with runners in scoring position, fourth in batting average, third in runs scored and third in on base percentage. When you are ranked in the top half of these categories you can afford to give up some of the home-runs.
Now the strongest part of the team is the starting rotation anchored by Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn.
3 Reasons why the Cardinals win the World Series:
Yadier Molina – Molina could possible be the National League MVP this season. He finished the season with a .319 batting average, 12 home-runs and 80 runs batted in for the Cardinals. The biggest drop off for the team came when Molina was on the disabled list early in the season.
Carlos Beltran – Beltran is a crafty veteran who still can hit for pop and produce in the clutch. He finished the season with a .296 batting average, 24 home-runs and 84 runs batted in.
Strength of starting rotation – The top end of the rotation may be the strongest in the national league with Miller, Wainwright and Lynn. The three combined for 49 wins, 3.32 earned run average and 586 strikeouts.
2 Reasons why the Cardinals won’t win the World Series:
Lack of a true power hitter – Against National League team they have enough to win ball games the real test will come in the World Series when they play a team like the Detroit Tigers.
Mike Matheny – The Cardinals will get their second chance with Matheny as the leader. Last season they lost in the wild card round and it will take better decisions if they want to move past the Pittsburgh Pirates in the divisional round.
Atlanta started off the 2013 Major League Baseball season on fire but slowed down the stretch. The team would lose the best record in baseball to the St. Louis Cardinals in the last week of the regular season.
For the Braves, it simply comes down to how well the starting rotation pitches and if the team hits. Only two starters in the lineup hit for over a .300 average with Chris Johnson and Freddi Freeman being them. The team also has a lot of power in the middle if Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward stay healthy and stay patient at the plate.
3 Reasons why the Braves win the World Series:
Chris Johnson – The runner up for the National League batting crown finished with a .321 batting average, 34 doubles, 12 home-runs and 68 runs batted in. The Braves need him to continue hitting in the playoffs.
Brian McCann – One of the games most powerful hitting catcher needs to stay healthy and in the lineup if the Braves want a chance to win the World Series.
Craig Kimbrel – Kimbrel anchored the back of the Braves bullpen finishing with 50 saves. He also pitched to a 1.21 earned run average in 67 innings and struck out 98 batters.
2 Reasons why the Braves won’t win the World Series:
Lack of a #1 Starter – The Braves have Kris Medlan at the top of the rotation but not quite sure that is enough to go up against other teams numbers ones including Clayton Kershaw an Adam Wainwright.
B.J Upton & Dan Uggla – These two players have a huge upside but both struggled in 2013. Upton finished with nine home-runs and a .184 batting average in 124 games. Uggla finished even lower with a .179 batting average despite hitting for 22 home-runs. The team needs these two players to hit for average if they want to win.
The Red Sox return to the post season one year after finishing dead last in the American League East. This is the same Red Sox team that traded away Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. The biggest advantage for the team this year is the change at the manager position.
Last season Bobby Valentine lost the club house and the Red Sox fell apart. After releasing him from his duties the Red Sox brought in John Farrell to replace him and the move has worked as the Red Sox finished with the best record in the American League.
3 Reasons why the Red Sox win the World Series:
Dustin Pedroia – One of the best second baseman’s in baseball is one of the leaders in the Red Sox club house. Pedroia plays the game with heart and led the team in hits with 193 and doubles with 42.
David Ortiz – Big Papi finished with the team lead in batting average with .309, home-runs with 30, runs batted in with 103 and on base percent with a .395. Ortiz also brings playoff experience and leadership.
Clay Buckholz – Buckholz enters the playoff as the Red Sox number one starter and if the team wants to win they need him t perform like he did during the regular season. Buckholz finished with a 12-1 record and 1.74 earned run average.
2 Reasons why the Red Sox won’t win the World Series:
John Farrell – Farrell has turned around a Red Sox team that finished dead last in the American League East in 2012. The negative side is his lack of playoff experience might came back to hurt the team.
Bullpen – The Red Sox bullpen has struggled at points this year and have struggled to close out opponents. They have plugged in Koji Uehera now as the closer to try and solve the teams issue.
The A’s are one of those teams that you can never write off as they grind till the final out in the ninth inning. Melvin has helped lead the A’s to back to back NL West titles and have the fans in Oakland thinking about a World Series title.
Bartolo Colon anchors the rotation for the A’s and brings playoff experience to a roster built around a young core. On the offensive side of the plate the A’s are led by Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss and Coco Crisp.
3 Reasons why the A’s win the World Series:
Bob Melvin – If it wasn’t for the turn around in Boston Melvin could have taken home back to back manager of the year awards in the American League. Melvin is making his third appearance of manager in the playoffs and is looking to guide the A’s to the World Series.
Josh Donaldson – Donaldson should be in the running for the MVP award after finishing the season with a .301 batting average, 37 doubles, 24 home-runs and 93 runs batted in. Donaldson also plays a solid third base for the A’s.
Bartolo Colon – The A’s need Colon to step up if they want to win. Colon is making his sixth appearance in the postseason and his tenth start in game one verse the Detroit Tigers. In his nine starts he has posted a 3.61 earned run average and struck out 41 batters in 52 innings.
2 Reasons why the A’s won’t win the World Series:
Lack of playoff experience – The A’s should be around for years to come with a very solid and young nucleus. Their biggest disadvantage is the lack of playoff experience for the entire team. This might catch up to them when they play a team like the Tigers with players like Miguel Cabrera and Tori Hunter who both have played in the post season.
Depth of starting rotation – Don’t take anything away from the A’s starting rotation this year as they have played lights out the only problem I have is do they have a true number one that can match up against guys like Justin Verlander, Clay Buckholz and David Price?
Be sure to read our online sportsbook reviews before you bet on baseball online!