2013 Division Series Previews and Predictions

NLDS A: #4 Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68) vs. #1 St. Louis Cardinals (97-65)

Head-to-head: Pittsburgh won 10-9

Numbers:

PIT: .245/.313/.396/.709, 101 OPS+, 3.9 R/G, +57 differential, 3.27 ERA, 108 ERA+

STL: .269/.332/.401/.733, 104 OPS+, 4.8 R/G, +187 differential, 3.43 ERA, 107 ERA+

Matchups:

Game 1: PIT A.J. Burnett (10-11, 3.30 ERA) vs. STL Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA)

Game 2: PIT Gerrit Cole (10-7, 3.22 ERA) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA)

Game 3: STL Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA) vs. PIT Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02 ERA)

Game 4: STL TBD vs PIT Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26 ERA)

Game 5: Probably rematch of Game 1 between Burnett and Wainwright

Breakdown: It’s very tough to call. Both teams are arguably the best in the NL. The Pirates have a very underrated pitching staff and their offense improved over the course of the season with the addition of Marlon Byrd. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have the deepest lineup in the NL even without Allen Craig and a solid but inexperienced rotation. The series may come down to the late innings and the Pirates may have the superior bullpen.

Prediction: Pirates in 5.

 

NLDS B: #3 Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) vs. #2 Atlanta Braves (96-66)

Head to Head: Braves won 5-2

Numbers:

LAD: .264/.326/.396/.722, 104 OPS+, 4.0 R/G, +67 differential, 3.25 ERA, 110 ERA+

ATL: .249/.321/.402/.723/, 97 OPS+, 4.2 R/G, 140 differential, 3.18 ERA, 122 ERA+,

Matchups:

Game 1: LAD Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) vs. ATL Kris Medlen (15-12, 3.11 ERA)

Game 2: LAD Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA) vs. ATL Mike Minor (13-9, 3.21 ERA)

Game 3: ATL Julio Teheran (14-8, 3.20 ERA) vs. LAD Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00 ERA)

Game 4: ATL Freddy Garcia (4-7, 4.37 ERA) vs. LAD Ricky Nolasco (13-11, 3.70)

Game 5: Likely rematch of Game 1 between Kershaw and Medlen

Breakdown: Simply, without Tim Hudson, the Braves may not have enough arms to match up with the Dodgers’ two aces, who could have their way with the strikeout-prone Atlanta offense. The key for Atlanta is to keep it close and get a late lead for Kimbrel.

Prediction: Dodgers in 4.

 

ALDS A: #5 Tampa Bay Rays (92-71) vs. #1 Boston Red Sox (97-65)

Head to Head: Red Sox won 12-7

Numbers:

TB: .257/.329/.408/.737, 107 OPS+, 4.3 R/G, +54 differential, 3.74 ERA, 102 ERA+

BOS: .277/.349/.446/.795, 117 OPS+, 5.3 R/G, +197 differential, 3.79 ERA, 108 ERA+

Matchups:

Game 1: TB Matt Moore (17-4, 3.29 ERA) vs. BOS Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)

Game 2: TB David Price (10-8, 3.33 ERA) vs. BOS John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)

Game 3: BOS Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. TB TBD

Game 4: BOS Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 ERA) vs. TB TBD

Game 5: TB David Price vs BOS Jon Lester

Breakdown: The Rays definitely have the edge on the pitching side, and David Price may go twice at Fenway where he is 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 10 starts. But they have their hands full with this lethal Red Sox lineup. Luckily, their lineup isn’t exactly made entirely of scrubs either. Tampa has to get the lead late because Boston’s bullpen has been un-hittable last few months.

Prediction: Rays in 4

 

ALDS B: #3 Detroit Tigers (93-69) vs. #2 Oakland Athletics (96-66)

Head to Head: Athletics won 4-3

Numbers:

DET: .283/.346/.434/.780, 110 OPS+, 4.9 R/G, +172 differential, 3.61 ERA, 117 ERA+

OAK: .254/.327/.419/.745, 110 OPS+, 4.7 R/G, +142 differential, 3.56 ERA, 105 ERA+

Matchups:

Game 1: DET Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA) vs. OAK Bartolo Colon (18-6, 2.65 ERA)

Game 2: DET Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46 ERA) vs. OAK Sonny Gray (5-3, 2.67 ERA)

Game 3: OAK Jarrod Parker (12-8, 3.97 ERA) vs. DET Anibal Sanchez (14-8, 2.57 ERA)

Game 4: OAK Dan Straily (10-8, 3.96 ERA) vs. DET Doug Fister (14-9, 3.67 ERA)

Game 5: Likely rematch between Scherzer and Colon

Breakdown: It’s very tempting to pick the Tigers since they have the most star power in the playoffs, but they have some weaknesses at the bottom of their lineup and in their bullpen. Oakland does not have their problem and their offense can keep up with Cabrera and Co. if they need to. Plus their bullpen is absolutely loaded. These are the two best teams in the American League. Whoever wins this series goes onto the World Series.

Prediction: Athletics in 5.

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