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Updated 2012 MLB Playoff Scenarios

Orioles Playoffs 2012

The O’s are in for the first time in 15 years but can they take down the evil empire and win the AL East?

With just two games left of the 2012 MLB regular season, the playoff picture is nearly complete.  The National League is just about all locked up with only 1 wild card spot not yet cinched up.  The Washington Nationals are your 2012 NL East Champs, the Cincinnati Reds won the NL Central, and the San Francisco Giants locked up the NL West title.  The Atlanta Braves have locked up the first wildcard spot and will host the other wildcard team.  Right now it is looking like the Cardinals will be that team as the Dodgers are 2 back with only 2 games left.  They would need the Cardinals to lose their last 2 games and they would need to win their 2 remaining games.  I just don’t see that happening.

Over in the American League, things are not quite as settled.  The only team to clinch the division title so far are the Detroit Tigers.  The Tigers locked up the AL Central last night after beating the Kansas City Royals.  In the AL East, both the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have locked up playoff spots however it is yet to be determined who will win the division.  The Yankees currently have a 1 game lead but are hosting the hated Boston Red Sox for the final 2 games.  The loser of the AL East race will be relegated to a Wild Card spot.  In the AL West, the Texas Rangers currently have a 1 game lead over the Oakland A’s.  Like the AL East, the 2nd place finisher is guaranteed a Wild Card spot.  What really complicated things is that there is a good possibility there will be at least 1 tie for a division title.  That means that a 1-game tie breaker game would be played.  The only thing we know right now is that the Tigers will be the #3 seed.

So, if I haven’t confused you too much already, here are your 2012 MLB Playoff Teams.

2012 Nationals League Playoff Teams

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. San Francisco Giants
  4. St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Atlanta Braves

2012 American League Playoff Teams

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Baltimore Orioles
  5. Oakland Athletics

 

2012 MLB Playoff Race and Preview

2012 MLB PLayoffs

Who’s your favorite to win the World Series?

With only 6 days left until the end of the MLB regular season, the 2012 playoff picture is beginning to become more clear.  Baseball isn’t traditionally a strong niche within the event ticket industry, but popular teams in major markets can demand top dollar for highly coveted playoff tickets.

Although their are many popular and familiar teams headed to the post-season (e.g. the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals), this year we have quite a few of surprise teams as well.  Teams that infrequently make the playoffs, even in smaller markets, can draw strong fan interest as they aren’t as accustomed to the novelty of playoff baseball .

In the American League, the Baltimore Orioles are in a battle for the American League East with the Evil Empire – New York.  Even if the Orioles can’t catch the Yankees, they will likely earn a trip to the AL Wildcard Game against the Oakland A’s.  The Orioles haven’t been to the post-season in 15 years (1997) so expect fan interest to be high should they get the opportunity to host playoff baseball in Baltimore.

In the National League, the big surprises have been the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals.  Although both teams are extremely talented, most experts thought they were a few years away from being competitive.  They couldn’t have been more wrong as the Reds and Nationals are currently tied for the best record in baseball.  The Nationals franchise (formerly the Montreal Expos) haven’t been to the playoffs in 31 years (1981) and the last time playoff baseball was played in the nations capital was 1933- 79 years ago!!  Fans should be extremely excited to see the Nationals seek a World Series title.

So for all you event ticket marketers, here are your 2012 MLB PLayoff Qualifiers if the season ended today…

2012 MLB Playoff Teams

American League

#1 Texas Rangers

#2 New York Yankees

#3 Detroit Tigers

#4 Baltimore Orioles

#5 Oakland A’s

Notes:  All teams are virtually a lock to make the playoffs with the exception of the Detroit Tigers.  The Tigers currently have a 1.5 game lead in the AL Central.  If the White Sox catch the Tigers they would be eliminated from playoff contention.

National League

#1 Washington Nationals

#2 Cincinnati Reds

#3 San Francisco Giants

#4 Atlanta Braves

#5 St. Louis Cardinals

Notes: All teams are virtually a lock to make the playoffs.

Stayed tuned for more updates are Wildcard and Division Series Matchups are finalized!

2012 MLB Opening Day Schedule

MLB Opening Day 2012The 2012 Major League Baseball season is just around the corner!  For baseball fans (expecially Cubs fans), spring is the time for eternal optimism.  Where any team still has a chance at the playoffs and even the world series.

Opening day is one of the biggest games of the year and even small market teams consistently sell out.  As such, there is huge demand for tickets to these games.  For those interested in marketing baseball tickets be sure to heavily promote the games included below.  After opening day, there is a lull in baseball ticket sales until inter-league play begins.  This year games between teams in the American League and National League will begin on May 18th.  Stayed tuned as we will break down some of the more popular inter-league games on the 2012 Schedule.

MLB Opening Day 2012

Wednesday April 4th

  • Miami Marlins vs St. Louis Cardinals (6:05) Lohse (0-0) v. Johnson (0-0)

Thursday April 5th, 2012

  • Detroit Tigers vs Boston Red Sox (12:05) Lester (0-0) v. Verlander (0-0)
  • N.Y. Mets vs Atlanta Braves (12:10) Hanson (0-0) v. Santana (0-0)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates vs Philadelphia Phillies (12:35) Halladay (0-0) v. Bedard (0-0)
  • Chicago Cubs vs Washington Nationals (1:20) Strasburg (0-0) v. Dempster (0-0)
  • Cleveland Indians vs Toronto Blue Jays (2:05) Romero (0-0) v. Masterson (0-0)
  • Cincinnati Reds vs Miami Marlins (3:10) Buehrle (0-0) v. Cueto (0-0)
  • San Diego Padres vs LA Dodgers (6:05) Kershaw (0-0) v. Volquez (0-0)

Friday April 6th, 2012

Chicago Cubs Tickets Sales and Attendance Hopes to Rebound in 2012

Chicago Cubs Starlin CastroGetting a ticket to see the Chicago Cubs play at historic Wrigley Field is typically not an easy task.  The Cubs regularly sell out the ballpark and games against rivals such as the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals demand premium dollar in the secondary ticket market.  However, last year you couldn’t pay fans to head down to the “Friendly Confines”.  Although the Cubs sold over 3 million tickets (> 37,000 per game) by mid-summer Wrigley Field was half empty during most games.

However, there is hope for Cubs fans and ticket brokers alike as we head into the 2012 season.  The Chicago Cubs have made some major moves this off season – most notably the hiring of former Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.  Fans are hoping that Theo can help the Cubs break their 103 year World Series drought much like he helped Boston.  It might not happen this year as the Cubs are clearly in a rebuilding mode but they are already starting to acquire pieces of a championship puzzle and clearing out some bad seeds.  Former faces of the organization Aramis Ramirez (signed with the Brewers) and Carlos Zambrano (traded to the Miami Marlins for Chris Volstad) are gone and in are of David DeJesus, Ian Stewart, Reed Johnson, Travis Wood, and intriguing 1st base prospect Anthony Rizzo.

The Cubs opening day lineup likely isn’t going to instill fear in any opponent but it is clear a long term plan is in place.  All-star shortstop Starlin Castro is clearly the new face of the franchise and will be joined by C Geovany Soto, 2B Darwin Barney, 3B Ian Stewart, and likely Bryan 1B LaHair in the infield.  The outfield, as it stands now will feature Alfonso Soriano in right field, Marlon Byrd in center, and a platoon of David DeJesus and Reed Johnson in right.  The rotation will consist of Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, and Randy Wells/Casey Coleman.  Although the Cubs didn’t go after any of the marque free agents (Puljols, Fielder, Jose Reyes, etc.), Cub fans are a loyal bunch and as long as things are headed in the right direct they will support their team.

So while the Cubs may not be all that good in 2012, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the franchise and that is usually good for ticket sales. Below is a list of 2012 Chicago Cubs games that should generate plenty of fan interest.

2012 Chicago Cubs Schedule Highlights

4/5/2012 Chicago Cubs vs Washington Nationals (Opening Day)
4/23 to 4/25/2012 Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals
5/18 to 5/20/2012 Chicago Cubs vs Chicago White Sox
6/12 to 6/14/2012 Chicago Cubs vs Detroit Tigers
6/15 to 6/17/2012 Chicago Cubs vs Boston Red Sox
7/17 to 7/19/2012 Chicago Cubs vs Miami Marlins (Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano return to Chicago)
7/27 to 7/29/2012 Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals
8/27 to 8/30/2012 Chicago Cubs vs Milwaukee Brewers
9/21 to 9/23/2012 Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago Baseball GM Shake Up!

Let’s talk a little baseball, eh?  Not about the October playoffs specifically, but what’s going down in Chicago.  I’m talking about the signing of Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox as the next GM of the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs fans are buzzing with anticipation knowing Epstein’s track record with the Red Sox.  The Red Sox used to be in the same position the Cubs are in currently, WAAAAAAAYYYYY too many decades passed without a World Series to call their own.  Epstein steps in and wham-bam, in less than a decade two world series under their belts.

On November 25, 2002, he became the youngest GM in the MLB history at the ripe old age of 28.  Two short years later, the Red Sox won their first World Series Championship.  Three years later, the team wins yet another.  Epstein might be young, but the guy certainly seems to know what he’s doing.  On October 11th, 2011, he signed a five-year contract worth $20 million.

With Epstein being given almost free reign to do what he pleases with the Cubs, there are many possibilities.  Going for him are the facts that he doesn’t have to compete with the pocketbooks of the likes of the Yankees nor with an overly involved media like in Boston.  Starting with this offseason fans can expect the Cubs to be active in trades and free agency, especially for a power hitting first baseman. Also, there are a number of starting pitchers that can be brought in like C.J. Wilson that can help bring this team to be a real competitor in his first season.  Epstein has a real knack for finding talent in the draft and then have them come up in the ranks and bring the team big wins.

As if the Cubs weren’t excited enough, new news is starting to emerge.  According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Cubs want to renew ties with Ryne Sandberg.

According to the Sun-Times, “sources close to the Cubs, along with those close to Sandberg, have said in recent weeks that they expect reconciliation this off-season.” The Cubs and Sandberg have not discussed the situation of late but all of that is expected to change once Epstein is officially in place.

It is not clear if Sandberg could be a new manager or if he would hold a prestigious spot on the Cubs’ coaching staff.

On the other side of town, the Chicago White Sox have been scrambling a bit since Ozzie Guillen was shipped to South Beach before the 2011 season even ended.  He was quickly replaced with former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura.  Ventura spent 10 years with the White Sox and is very familiar with them, but he lacks experience as a manager.  Guillen was never a warm fuzzy GM with his players or with the media or anyone else for that matter.  Ventura gets the privilege of going in there with a clean slate and all the possibilities in the world.

What we do know, is the 2012 Chicago baseball scene will be very, very different than what is was in 2011, and thank goodness for that!