October has finally arrived, meaning that baseball will once again take center stage as cool fall nights are warmed up with the tense playoff encounters between baseball’s best teams. In a strange twist of fate, neither the Boston Red Sox nor the New York Yankees will take any part in the affairs; a reality not seen since 1993! But in regards to the teams that actually will be a part of the 2014 MLB Playoffs, there should definitely be a lot to excite the fans!
First up will be the single game wildcard matches between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics in the American League, and a game between the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League. While the concept of both team’s playoff hopes residing on the outcome of a lone game is quite enticing and does make an excellent way to kick start the tournament, it will surely be a quick and brutal ending to be eliminated so soon for the eventual losers.
But that’s how life is when you don’t win your division, and for this reason I really don’t suspect any of the wildcard teams to contend for the 2014 World Series. Looking ahead to the later rounds of the playoffs, I think the American League will be won by the Los Angeles Angels. While they have endured more than their fair share of injuries to key players, the cogs of a championship-winning side are well in place. Albert Pujols represents the mature veteran with World Series experience while Mike Trout has proven to be baseball’s next slugger. Only 23, he is young and has yet to taste the playoffs, but fortunately a proven star like Pujols will be able to guide him along.
With regards to pitching, they have two of the crucial positions covered. Jered Weaver is a true ace while closer Huston Street has been dominant with a 1.37 ERA. Such a threat in the 9th inning sends absolute fear in the minds of opponents and is a crucial ingredient to postseason success. The injury to Garrett Richards was unfortunate, but so long as Matt Shoemaker and C.J. Wilson can put together several good outings on the mound, I suspect the Angels will reach the World Series.
Once there, I think the team ready to meet them will be none other than cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, setting up a classic Freeway Series for the title! Here’s why:
Spending Yankees’ levels of money, the Dodgers are loaded. They have two ace pitchers in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. While injuries have also struck down upon this team, prematurely ending Josh Beckett’s fine comeback season, the Dodgers should be alright, especially if Hyun-Jin Ryu is able to pitch in the postseason. Their closer Jansen Kenley has served them well too.
Hitting wise, the Dodgers have one of the deepest lineups in baseball. Nearly all of their starters are batting near .300 and big time hitters like Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Matt Kemp can crush the ball. Speedy guys like Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford can round the bases can and score runs. Such production is key against top pitchers in the playoffs where a single run can decide an entire series! Top to bottom the most talented roster in the Majors, I suspect that the Los Angeles Dodgers will reach the 2014 World Series and will go on to win it.
AAA Sports Memorabilia has a great selection of sports collectibles for each of these teams and for those teams that are not in the playoffs. Come check us out to see what we have for your favorite team. Our autographed memorabilia is obtained through private paid signings and are guaranteed for life. Our product line changes regularly so visit us often.