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Archives for : tampa bay rays

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 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

2011 MLB Playoff Schedule Announced

rays-evan-longoria-walks-off-and-rays-win

Evan Longoria's walkoff home run in the 12th inning propels the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2011 MLB Playoffs

What a finish we had to the 2011 MLB regular season as the Wildcard spots in both the American League and National League came down to the final game of the season. In the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays came back from a 7-0 deficit to beat the New York Yankees 8-7 in 12 innings.  Going into game #162, the Rays were tied with the Boston Red Sox for the AL wildcard.  Shortly after Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox blew a 1 run lead in the ninth and lost to the lowly Baltimore Orioles,  Evan Longoria homered in the 12th inning sending the Rays to the 2011 playoffs.  The Rays completed an unlikely comeback and caught the Boston Red Sox who had a major september swoon going just 7-19 for the month The Rays will go on to face the #2 seeded Texas Rangers while the #1 seeded New York Yankees will face the #3 seeded Detroit Tigers in the ALDS.

 

Yankees vs Tigers ALDS Schedule & Pitching Matchups

ALDS Game 1 9/30: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees , 8:37 p.m. ET
Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40**) vs. C.C. Sabathia (19-8, 3.00)
ALDS Game 2 10/1: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees , 8:37 p.m. ET
Doug Fister (11-13, 2.83) vs. Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70)
ALDS Game 3 10/3: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers, 8:37 p.m. ET
Max Scherzer (15-9, 4.43) vs. Freddy Garcia (12-8, 3.62)
ALDS Game 4 10/4: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers, Time TBD
Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.75) vs. C.C. Sabathia (19-8, 3.00)
ALDS Game 5 10/6: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees, Time TBD
Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40) vs. Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70)

Rangers vs Rays ALDS Schedule & Pitching Matchups

ALDS Game 1 9/30: Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers, 5:07 p.m.
Jeff Niemann (11-7, 4.06) vs. CJ Wilson (16-7, 2.94**)
ALDS Game 2 10/1: Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers, 7:07 p.m. ET on TNT
Scott Shields (16-12, 2.82) vs. Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95)
ALDS Game 3 10/3: Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays, 5:07 p.m. ET
Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39) vs. David Price (12-13, 3.49)
ALDS Game 4 10/4: Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays, Time TBD
Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95)
ALDS Game 5 10/6: Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers, Time TBD
Scott Shields (16-12, 2.82) vs. CJ Wilson (16-7, 2.94)

In the National League, the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals went into the final game tied for the NL Wildcard. The Cardinals demolished the Houston Astros 8-0 and awaited the outcome of the Phillies-Braves game to learn their fate.  With the Braves up 3-2 in the 9th inning, closer Greg Kimbrel walked 3 batters and blew the lead and sent the game into extra innings.  In the 13th inning, Hunter Pence came through with a two-out, game winning single.  The Cardinals completed a historic run to make the post season coming back from 10.5 games behind the Braves on August 26th.  The Cardinals will advance to play the #1 seeded Philadelphia Phillies.  The #2 seed Milwuakee Brewers will face the #3 seed Arizona Diamondbacks.

Phillies vs Cardinals NLDS Schedule & Pitching Matchups

NLDS Game 1 10/1: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies, 5:07 p.m. ET
Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.39) vs. Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35**)
NLDS Game 2 10/2: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies, 8:07 p.m. ET
Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79) vs. Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40)
NLDS Game 3 10/4: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (11-9, 3.45) vs. Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79)
NLDS Game 4 10/5: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
TBD vs. Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69)
NLDS Game 5 10/7: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies
TBD vs. Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35)

Brewers vs Diamondbacks NLDS Schedule & Pitching Matchups

NLDS Game 1 10/1: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers, 2:07 p.m. ET
Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88**) vs. Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52)
NLDS Game 2 10/2: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers, 4.37 p.m. ET
Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49) vs. Zach Greinke (16-6, 3.83)
NLDS Game 3 10/4: at Arizona
Shawn Marcum (13-7, 3.54) vs. Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.69)
NLDS Game 4 10/5: at Arizona
Randy Wolf (13-10, 3.69) vs. TBD
NLDS Game 5 10/7: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers
TBD vs. Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52)

2011 MLB Playoff Field Nearly Set

Tampa Bay Rays

Outfielder Johnny Damon looks to bite the hand that once fed him as the Rays look to surpass the Boston Red Sox in the AL Wildcard race!

The 2011 Major League Baseball regular season is just about in the books with less 10 games remaining.  Typically this time of year is exciting with multiple teams chasing down division titles and wildcard berths.  However, this season’s excitement is relegated to just the American League Wildcard race as the Tampa Bay Rays are hunting the Boston Red Sox for the final spot in the post-season.  The Rays trail the Red Sox by just 1.5 games with 9 games remaining.  The Rays final 9 games will be against the New York Yankees (6 games, 3 in Tampa, 3 in New York ) and the Toronto Blue Jays (3 games in Tampa).  The Red Sox also have 9 games left and will play the Baltimore Orioles (3 in Boston, 3 in Baltimore) and will also face the rival Yankees in New York.  No matter who pulls out the Wildcard, the Yankees will certainly play a large role in who will live on to play in October and who will be sent home packing.

Although only the Detroit Tigers have clinched a division championship thus far (the American League Central), both the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers are in solid control of their respective divisions.  The NY Yankees will also likely finish with the #1 seed. That means that they will face either the Tigers or Rangers if the Red Sox are able to hold onto the Wildcard.  Should the Rays surpass the Red Sox, they would end up facing the #1 seed Yanks.  Both the Tigers and Rangers are battling it out for the #2 seed and who they play will come down to the Wildcard.  If the season were to end today the Yankees (#1) would play the Rangers (#3) and the Tigers (#2) would play the Red Sox (#4) in the American League Divisional Series (ALDS).

In National League, their really isn’t a whole lot to play for.  Barring a stunning losing streak, the 1st round playoff matches are all pretty much set.  The Philadelphia Phillies have pretty much locked up the #1 seed, while the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks should get the #2 and #3 seeds respectively.  The Atlanta Braves are currently 3.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals and should enter the playoffs as the National League Wildcard.  That means that in the Nationals League Divisional Series (NLDS), the #1 Phillies would play the #3 Arizona Diamondbacks, while the #2 Milwaukee Brewers will face the (#4) Atlanta Braves.

With plenty of major market teams in the 2011 MLB Playoffs, tickets for both the ALDS and NLDS will be in high demand.  be sure to check out our selection of MLB Playoff tickets at Tickifieds – MLB Playoff Ticket Classifieds!