Now that the 2013 MLB All Star game is complete, many teams have decided to throw up the white flag and “wait til next year”. Others are gearing up and looking to acquire a few pieces of the puzzle for a playoff push. The best indication of where you team fits on the above spectrum is to see who is buying and who is selling come the MLB trade deadline on July 31st. Although MLB baseball tickets are not necessarily a big seller on the secondary ticket market, knowing which teams tickets will be in demand come time to chase the pennant can reap huge rewards. With that in mind we decided to breakdown the 2013 MLB playoff picture.
The American League is filled with tight races in each of the 3 divisions. In the American League East, The Boston Red Sox currently have a 1.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. However, the AL East is far from a two pony show as the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees are also both within striking distance (not to mention in wildcard contention). The only team seemingly out of it is the Toronto Blue Jays – currently 12.5 games out (9 games in the wildcard).
In the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are in a heated race. The Tigers are currently ahead by 1.5 games but a lot of things can change depending on what happens at the trade deadline. The rest of the AL Central including the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox are pretty much out of it and are expected to be sellers at the trade deadline.
In the American League West, there is also apparently a 2 team race for the division crown. The pesky Oakland A’s currently have a 2 game advantage over the Texas Rangers. However, the Texas Rangers are expected to be big players in the trade deadline frenzy. Rumor has it that they are close to landing Chicago Cubs ace Matt Garza. The rest of the west, including the Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros are out of it and will likely be gutted for prospects.
Still in it, to win it: Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s, Texas Rangers.
Count them out: Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros.
The National League playoff picture isn’t quite as complicated as it is in the American League. The National League East is already seemingly locked up by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves currently have a 6.5 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. While 6.5 games is far from insurmountable, the Phillies nor the Nationals are not likely to add any significant pieces to make a playoff push. In fact, the Phils may actually be sellers.
In the NL Central we actually have a really interesting pennant race. The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates thus far have been the 2 best teams in the MLB. The Cardinals have a slim 2.5 game lead but the young, upstart pirates show no signs of fading down the stretch. The Cincinnati Reds are also a strong team sitting 13 games above .500 but are 4.5 games back. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, however, are done and will be unloading talent and salaries before the trade deadline.
Lastly, in the weak NL West the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angles Dodgers and perhaps the Colorado Rockies are still deciding who deserves a change to lose in the first round this post season. The Dodgers are just 1.5 games behind the Dbacks and are likely the only team willing to add payroll and talent. The San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres are certainly on the wait till next year path.
Still in it, to win it: Atlanta Braves, St, Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies
Count them out: Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres