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Archives for : Oakland A’s

Spring is Here… Opening Day 2014

2014 MLB Opening DayAlthough the first day of Spring was officially on March 20th, we think Spring really starts the same day as the Major League Baseball season- opening day.  With opening day happening tomorrow (Monday March 31st), we thought it would be fitting to make our predictions for the upcoming season.  As a Chicago Cubs fan, spring is the time for optimism.  A time where every team still has a chance to reach the post season no matter how big or how small the payroll.  While, over the last several years, parity has increased across the MLB landscape – most experts still pick the big spending teams like the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The bigger and more interesting question is who will become this year’s Pittsburgh Pirates?  With that in mind, here are my picks for the 2014 MLB Season.

National League

NL East – Washington Nationals:  The Nationals were a big disappointment last year but they will be ready to rebound.  Bryce Harper will be ready to compete for a MVP crown this year.

NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals:  Hard to pick against St. Louis here… They made it all the way to the World Series last season only to lose to the Braves.  This Cardinals team is loaded with young talent that should only be better this year.  As much as I hate to admit it, unless they implode, expect them to cruise to another NL Central Title.

NL West –  Los Angeles Dodgers:  Again not a surprising pick here but the L.A. Dodgers are absolutely loaded with talent.  The got off to a slow start last season only to come on strong at the end – that could happen again this year but I just can’t see the Giants or Diamondbacks running away with the division early.

NL Wildcard Teams: Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies

American League

AL East – Tampa Bay Rays:  While most are picking the Red Sox or Yankees here, I just can’t pick against a team with an abundance of young talent and the best manager in the game (Joe Maddon).  Watch out for Desmond Jennings and Chris Archer this year!

AL Central – Kansas City Royals: Ok, here is my out-on-a-limb pick.  Every year I think the KC Royals will be much better than they turn out to be.  Maybe it is my inner Cub fan coming out but I really think this will be the year the Royals put it all together.  Watch out for Yordano Ventura!

AL West – Oakland A’s:  On paper the A’s look like nothing all that special.  However, they never look all that special on paper but Billy Beane always seems to find a way to keep the Athletics competitive.  With not a whole lot of dominant teams in the AL West you have to go with the team that will likely be the most consistent.

AL Wildcard Teams:  Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers

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

2012 AL and NL Division Series Schedules

2012 MLB PLayoffs

The AL and NL Division Series is underway….next up the Championship Series!

The wildcard games are over and that means it’s time for the American (AL) and National League (NL) Division Series.  In the AL, the Baltimore Orioles upset the Texas Rangers to advance to the ALDS against the hated New York Yankees.  The first game of the series will take place tonight (Sunday October 7th, 2012) in Baltimore.  The other side of the bracket is a match-up between the AL Central Champion Detroit Tigers and the AL West Champion Oakland A’s.  With no need to wait for a wildcard game, the Tigers are already out to a 2-0 lead.  One more win for Detroit and they will advance to the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals took down the Atlanta Braves and have moved on to face the Washington Nationals.  Game 1 of the NLDS took place earlier today with the Nationals edge the Cards 3-2 to take 1-0 lead in the series.  In the other NLDS series, the Cincinnati Reds took game 1 over the San Francisco Giants by a final of 5-2.  Game 2 will be tonight in San Francisco.

Below is the full ALDS and NLDS Schedule…

2012 ALDS Schedule

American League Division Series – Detroit vs. Oakland
Saturday, October 06, 2012 Oakland at Detroit
Sunday, October 07, 2012 Oakland at Detroit
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 Detroit at Oakland
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Detroit at Oakland
Thursday, October 11, 2012 Detroit at Oakland
American League Division Series -Yankees vs. Orioles
Sunday, October 07, 2012 New York at Baltimore
Monday, October 08, 2012 New York at Baltimore
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Baltimore at New York
Thursday, October 11, 2012 Baltimore at New York
Friday, October 12, 2012 Baltimore at New York
National League Division Series -Giants vs. Reds
Saturday, October 06, 2012 Cincinnati at San Francisco
Sunday, October 07, 2012 Cincinnati at San Francisco
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 San Francisco at Cincinnati
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 San Francisco at Cincinnati
Thursday, October 11, 2012 San Francisco at Cincinnati
National League Division Series -Cardinals vs Nationals
Sunday, October 07, 2012 Washington at St. Louis
Monday, October 08, 2012 Washington at St. Louis
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 St. Louis at Washington
Thursday, October 11, 2012 St. Louis at Washington
Friday, October 12, 2012 St. Louis at Washington

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!