The 2012 MLB regular season came to a close on the night of Wednesday, October 3, with ten teams still in the running for the coveted World Series trophy. The playoff race has been an exciting one for many teams, with several surprise endings and a historic milestone.
In Kansas City, for example, the Detroit Tigers‘ Miguel Cabrera officially won the Triple Crown during their game against the Royals. Leading his league (AL-Central) in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI’s), Cabrera is the first person since 1967 to win the triple crown, only the 12th person in baseball history to do so and the first Latino ever.
With no tie-breaker needed this year, the postseason is scheduled to officially begin with the wild card games on Friday, October 5. The National League wild card game will be played first, airing on TBS at 5:00 p.m.. For a spot in a NL Division Series, the Atlanta Braves of the NL-East, finishing the regular season with a 94-68 record, will play the St. Louis Cardinals (NL-Central, 88-74). The winner of the wild card matchup will go on to host their first game against the Washington Nationals (NL-East, 98-64), with that series set to begin on Sunday, October 7.
The American League wild card game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on October 5, and will feature the Baltimore Orioles (AL-East, 93-69) against the Texas Rangers (AL-West, 93-69). The winner of this game will play in an AL Division Series against the New York Yankees (AL-East, 96-67), hosting the first game on October 7. If the MLB had not added the extra wild card slot earlier in the year, then the wild card matchups would be very different from the current schedule. The St. Louis Cardinals would be out of the running entirely, and the Orioles and Rangers would play an eliminating tie-breaker to establish an opponent for the Atlanta Braves
In the other American League Division Series, the Detroit Tigers (AL-Central, 88-74) will face the Oakland A’s (AL-West, 94-68). The series is set to begin in Detroit on Saturday, October 6. For the remaining National League Division Series matchup, the Cincinnati Reds (NL-C, 97-65) will play the San Francisco Giants (NL-West, 94-68), with the first game to be played in San Francisco on October 6.
The AL and NL Division Series are scheduled until October 12 if the latter games are necessary. The American League Championship Series, with teams to be determined by the outcome of the upcoming wildcard and division series, is set to air on TBS beginning Saturday October 13. The National League Championship Series is scheduled to begin on Sunday October 13, and will be aired on FOX. This year’s World Series will also be aired on FOX, with the first game scheduled to be hosted by the National League Champion on Wednesday, October 24.
All in all, this year’s postseason is shaping up to be very exciting. A few teams battled it out until the last game to establish division titles or a wild card slot, and fans are sure to see this amped-up performance on the field for the remainder of the season. Regardless of your opinion on the added wildcard, fair or not, it gives fans an added postseason game that could potentially put someone’s favorite team on the field at the right time for a shot at the World Series.