While nearly the entire 2013 MLB playoff bracket is set following the conclusion of the original regular-season schedule, 162 games were not enough to decide the second American League Wild-Card slot. Check out our playoff primer below to read about the thrilling one-game playoff set to take place between the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers as well as information regarding the other nine teams in the running for a World Series title.
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AL Wild-Card Tiebreaker
Rangers vs Rays | Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas — Sept. 30
After ending in a dead heat through 162 games, the Rays and Rangers will square off in a one-game tiebreaker to determine which team will advance to take on the Cleveland Indians on Oct. 2. The Rays, who held a two-game advantage over the Rangers on Sept. 26, will head to Arlington to take on the Rangers, who ended the season on a seven-game winning streak to force the tie. Reigning Cy Young-winner David Price will take the mound for the Rays, while Martin Perez will be on the hill for Texas. The Rangers won the season series, 4-3, but anything can happen in an always thrilling one-game scenario.
AL Wild-Card Game
Rays/Rangers vs Indians | Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio — Oct. 2
No team in baseball is hotter than the Indians, who ran off 10 consecutive wins to close out the season and lock up the first AL Wild-Card slot. As a result of their hot streak, the Indians will have a few days to rest before hosting the one-game showdown in Cleveland.
NL Wild-Card Game
Reds vs Pirates | PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa. — Oct. 1
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are plenty familiar with one another, having played 18 times this season in a very competitive NL Central race. The Reds faltered down the stretch, losing six of their final 10 games, but certainly have a chance to come away victorious in Pittsburgh, especially with Johnny Cueto getting the start on the mound.
AL Wild-Card Winner vs Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox will await the winner of the AL Wild-Card game after winning 97 games to lead the AL during the regular season. The extra time off should be beneficial, as star outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury continues to heal from a foot injury.
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass. – (Game 1: Oct. 4; Game 2: Oct. 5; Game 5: Oct. 10)
TBD – (Game 3: Oct. 7; Game 4: Oct. 8)
Tigers vs Athletics
This will be a matchup of two teams with clearly contrasting personalities, as the Detroit Tigers, behind a roster full of high-profile players, will take on an Oakland Athletics team that is led by a cast of role players.
Overstock.com Coliseum, Oakland, Calif. – (Game 1: Oct. 3; Game 2: Oct. 5; Game 5: Oct. 10)
Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich. – (Game 3: Oct. 7; Game 4: Oct. 8)
NL Wild-Card Winner vs Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals emerged victorious from the three-way battle in the NL Central, ultimately finishing three games ahead of the second-place Pirates. The Cards will now enjoy a short break before taking on the divisional rival that advances from the NL Wild-Card game.
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo. – (Game 1: Oct. 3; Game 2: Oct. 4; Game 5: Oct. 9)
TBD – (Game 3: Oct. 6; Game 4: Oct. 7)
Braves vs Dodgers
To win the series, the Los Angeles Dodgers will have to steal a game at Turner Field, which will be a tough task considering the Atlanta Braves owned the best home record in the MLB during the regular season, with 56 wins against just 25 losses.
Turner Field, Atlanta, Ga. – (Game 1: Oct. 3; Game 2: Oct. 4; Game 5: Oct. 9)
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif. – (Game 3: Oct. 6; Game 4: Oct. 7)