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2013 MLB Playoff Picture

Pittsburgh Pirates playoff chances

Are the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates for real or will they fade down the stretch?

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.

American League

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.

National League

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

Top Weekend Events – July 1st – 4th

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipWell, it’s Wednesday again.  This is the big 4th of July weekend and people for sure want to get out and see some baseball!  They have a number of excellent games to go see.

While baseball games, particularly on the 4th, are reigning supreme on the list, some other “manly” events are of note.  Taking top placement of events going on this weekend is the mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Vegas.  Originally, the event was set to be a rematch between B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch, but, given the nature of the sport, both competitors had to bow out due to injuries.    This started a whole ripple of injuries replacements from the event, including Evan Dunham, Jason Miller, and Cub Swanson.  The main event, Bantamweight Championship is between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.  UFC 132 will broadcast it’s two preliminary fights live on Spike TV and the remaining fights will be streamed on Facebook.  How’s that for using social media?

The Coke Zero 400 Race is a 160 lap, 400 mile NASCAR Sprint Series stock car race at the Daytona International Speedway.  This particular race has been around since 1959 and usually held around 4th of July, and has held other names such as the Firecracker 250, Firecracker 400, Pepsi Firecracker 400 and Pepsi 400.  This year’s event will again be televised on TNT.

As for your top weekend concerts, the men of country seem to hold their fan’s attention.  Toby Keith will be playing at the Henry Maier Festival Park at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI.  Mr. Keith with special guest Eric Church are the headliners for the day, but other notable (free with admission!) acts include; Girl Talk, Los Lonely Boys, Los Lobos, Anberlin, Third Eye Blind, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus an Taj Mahal.  Kenny Chesney is the other man of the weekend with his show in Pittsburgh.  There’s something about country music, fireworks, a cold beer and celebrating the 4th, isn’t there?

So, all in all, people are looking for good old fashioned events that remind folks about our American pastimes; music, baseball and having a good time.

Top Events – 4th of July Weekend

1.)   UFC 132 Cruz vs. Faber, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV – Saturday, July 2nd

2.)   Mets at Dodgers, Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles, CA – Monday, July 4th

3.)   Coke Zero 400, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, FL – Saturday, July 2nd

4.)   Toby Keith, Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI – Friday, July 1st

5.)   Royals at White Sox, Cellular Field, Chicago, IL – Monday, July 4th

6.)   Kenny Chesney, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – Saturday, July 2nd

7.)   Blue Jays at Red Sox, Fenway Park, Boston, MA – Monday, July 4th

8.)   Rockies at Braves, Turner Field, Atlanta, GA – Monday, July 4th

9.)   Phillies at Marlins, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Monday, July 4th

10.) Indians at Reds, Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH – Saturday, July 4th

Top Weekend Events – April 29 – May 1

Top Weekend Events:

I’m not gonna lie, this week’s top weekend events are confusing!  Theater events are taking the top spots this weekend, primarily Stomp and Cirque due Soleil at the beautiful Bellagio hotel in Vegas.   O is a beautiful water themed stage production by the Canadian circus and Entertainment Company.  The show takes place around and above a 1.5 million gallon pool showcasing water acts such as synchronized swimming and aerial and ground acts.  The show has been at the Bellagio since 1998.  The water show continues the Bellagio’s salute to beautiful water shows which started with their water fountain ballet acts set to music.  Other Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas include Mystere at Treasure Island, Ka at the MGM Grand, the Beatles show Love at the Mirage,  Criss Angel Believe at the Luxor,  and Viva Elvis at Aria Resort and Casino.

In case you didn’t know, Stomp is a dance troupe, originating from Brighton, UK) that uses choreographed percussion from ordinary objects like ladders and paint buckets, movement and physical comedy to create a physical theater performance.  It’s truly exhilarating.

Holding the title for top event this weekend is the Stagecoach Festival in California.  The event features artists such as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood, as well as Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Loretta Lynn, Chris Young and Leon Russell.  The superstars of country will be there, will you?

Frankly, I’m surprised that both the NBA Playoffs as well as the NHL playoffs are going on, but none of the games made the list for this weekend.  The Rockies have shown up a few times so far this season on the list.  Their tickets are highly in demand.  Possibly not as much as the Boston Red Sox, but they still have a strong following.  The motorcycle racing sport, AMA Supercross, is also exceptionally popular.  The AMA series begins in late December and continues until mid-May.   Therefore, look for tickets to remain popular through May.

1.)    Stagecoach Festival, Empire Polo Field, Indio CA –  Saturday, April 30th

2.)    Cirque du Soleil: O, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – Friday, April 29th

3.)     Stomp, Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Meyers, FL –  Saturday, April 30th

4.)    Stomp, Orpheum Theatre, New York City, NY – Saturday, April 30th

5.)    Cirque du Soleil: O, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – Saturday, April 30th

6.)    Stomp, Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Meyers, FL – Friday, April 29th

7.)    AMA Supercross, Rice – Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT – Saturday, April 30th

8.)    Crown Royal 400, Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA – Saturday, April 30th

9.)    Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies, Coors Field, Denver, CO – Saturday, April 30th

10.)  Tim McGraw, 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL – Friday, April 29th

Top Weekend Events – April 15 – 17

It’s WednesdDerrick Roseay, it’s Wednesday!  Two days until the weekend.

So what’s going on this weekend?  What’s the cool thing to do?  Well, let me tell ya.  The thing that pops out above and beyond everything else on our top ten list is the amount of country music.  Veterans Tim McGraw and the Avett brothers are joined by newer acts like Zac Brown Band and Sugarland and constant pillars like Kenny Chesney.  Even Mumford & Sons kind of has a country vibe to them.  Speaking of which, because Mumford & Sons only plays small venues, their tickets sell out fast!  What does that mean?  Demand is vastly more enormous than supply.  M&S technically is an English Folk Rock band.  In December 2010, the band earned Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Song (“Little Lion Man”).  Keep an eye on this band.  Their stock is going to further skyrocket very, very soon.

Zac Brown Band had nine nominations for the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards 2011, including Top Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Vocal Event of the Year.  As previously mentioned, this band is hot, hot, hot.  They appeal to many demographics, and they’re snapping up tickets and music as fast as they can.

NBA Playoffs are going into full swing this weekend.  Not surprisingly, the Celtics show up on the list.  I think Boston has the most sports successful town and possibly some of the most loyal fans.  Chicago isn’t far behind, as they appear on the list with the Bulls, White Sox and Cubs.  Derrick Rose of the Bulls continues to be the hometown hero and a sure winner of MVP. The White Sox are starting out very strong this year.  And, as much as it saddens me to say, given the way the Cubs have started this season, I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to be their year either.   One day!

 

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Top Weekend Events – April 2 -4

Fenway ParkWelcome to Hump Day!!  You’ve made it half way through the week already!  Way to go.

Sorry about missing last week’s post.  I was all screwed up last week.  Friday arrived, and I thought it was Wednesday.  Oops.

At any rate, will you check out this list?!  I think A LOT of people are very excited about the impending baseball season and spring FINALLY arriving.  It’s about dang time too.  Obviously, some of the biggest names on the list include the 2007 World Series champs, the Colorado Rockies, the perennial favorite Red Sox, 2005 runner up champs, the Houston Astros and the neighborly rivals the Giants vs. the Dodgers.  Frankly, I’m exceptionally surprised not to see the Chicago Cubs nor the New York Yankees on this list.  I’m sure their time is coming though.

Obviously and without any surprise, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Tournament holds down the top spot.  For those whose brackets and pools predicted these final four, they should receive some kind of elaborate prize.  The Final Four is comprised of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams (VCU), Butler Bulldogs, UConn Huskies and the Kentucky Wildcats.  Which unlikely team do you think will take home the championship on April 4th?

The Chicago Bulls also are making an appearance on the list.  Hometown hero, Derrick Rose, is helping lead his team hopefully another championship, along with assistance from Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer and Coach Tom Thibodeau.

Our firs WWE event shows up on the list with Wrestlemania XXVII (that’s 27 for us regular folk).  Some of the matches of note include The Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio, The Miz (from MTV’s Real World!) and John Cena as well as Triple H taking on The Undertaker.  WWE has a huge following and is not just for 13-year-old boys anymore.

  1.)    NCAA Final Four, Reliant Stadium, Houston TX  – 04/02/2011

2.)    Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies – Opening Day, Coors Field, Denver, Colorado – 04/01/2011

3.)    Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers – Opening Day – Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, TX – 04/01/2011

4.)    Wrestlemania XXVII – Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – 04/03/2011

5.)    Kroger 250 – Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA – 04/02/2011

6.)    Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls – United Center, Chicago  –  IL 04/02/2011

7.)    Brian Regan – Wilbur Theater, Boston, MA – 04/01/2011

8.)    Houston Astros vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Opening Day – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA – 04/01/2011

9.)    George Strait and Reba McEntire – EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake, UT – 04/02/2011

10.)  San Francisco Giants vs. LA Dodgers – Opening Day – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA  – 04/01/2011

As always, check out freeticketclassifieds.com for all your ticket needs.