Baseball : MLB 2013 season preview
Giants win 2012 World Series by sweeping the Tigers
The San Francisco Giants have swept the Detroit Tigers to win their second World Series in three years. The Giants' burly third baseman Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda", was named as the series' Most Valuable Player, having hit three home runs in the opening match which the Giants won 8-3, only the fourth player to do so in a World Series game.
The Giants had come through the playoffs the hard way, falling 0-2 behind the Cincinatti Reds in the NLDS before winning the next three to advance, and then falling 1-3 behind to the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS before again winning the next three to reach the World Series.
|MLB 2012 Playoffs|
|San Francisco - Detroit||4 : 0|
|New York Yankees - Detroit||0 : 4|
|San Francisco - St Louis||4 : 3|
|Baltimore - New York Yankees||2 : 3|
|Detroit - Oakland||3 : 2|
|St Louis - Washington||3 : 2|
|San Francisco - Cincinnati||3 : 2|
Astros move to AL West
The 2013 season will be the first with the Houston Astros as a member of the American League in the West Division. The move created two 15-team leagues each separated into three five-team divisions. With an odd number of teams in each league, interleague games will be played nearly every day during the season.
MLB 2013 key dates
The 2013 season starts on March 31 with the game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. The season is scheduled to end on September 29.
- March 31 - Opening day
- July 16 - All Star Game at Citi Field in Queens, New York City
- September 29 - Final day of the 2013 regular season
Odds by bookmakers
These are odds to win 2013 MLB World Series Championship published by online bookmakers before the start of the season:
|Los Angeles Angels||8.5||Chicago White Sox||34|
|Washington Nationals||9||Milwaukee Brewers||41|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||10||Arizona Diamondbacks||51|
|Toronto Blue Jays||10||Baltimore Orioles||51|
|Detroit Tigers||10||San Diego Padres||67|
|Texas Rangers||13||Pittsburgh Pirates||67|
|Cincinnati Reds||13||Kansas City Royals||67|
|Tampa Bay Rays||14||Miami Marlins||101|
|Atlanta Braves||15||New York Mets||101|
|New York Yankees||17||Cleveland Indians||101|
|San Francisco Giants||19||Minnesota Twins||151|
|Philadelphia Phillies||19||Chicago Cubs||151|
|St. Louis Cardinals||21||Seattle Mariners||151|
|Boston Red Sox||29||Colorado Rockies||201|
|Oakland Athletics||34||Houston Astros||501|
The Los Angeles Angels have been busy the past 2 off-seasons. Last winter, they committed over $320 million to free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Even with the emergence of dynamic rookie Mike Trout, that did not get the Angels back into the postseason. So this winter, the Angels shocked everyone with another unexpected free-agent splurge, signing outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $123 million contract. If that isn't enough to get the Angels into the playoffs for the first time since 2009, it's hard to imagine who Angels might try to buy next winter.
The Washington Nationals won 98 games last year, the most in baseball, and could be even better in 2013. Dan Haren has been added to the starting rotation and Rafael Soriano was added to the bullpen. They also added Denard Span to the outfield via trade with the Twins.
After adding big names like Ramirez, Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett in trades last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147 million contract over the winter and committed $61.7 million to sign Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu. Overall, the Dodgers are more than capable of putting up lots of runs with their bats and dismantling other teams with their arms. The question will be can this team mesh? Will personalities collide or will they cooperate?
The Toronto Blue Jays acted boldly in the offseason to snap out of the relentless mediocrity that has characterized the franchise for almost 20 years. They raided the NL East, acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from the Marlins and Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets. They also signed Melky Cabrera and re-hired a former Jays manager, John Gibbons. It won't be easy, but it's reasonable to expect Toronto to find its way back to the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 1992 and 1993.
Last season the Detroit Tigers won 88 games, beat the A's in the ALDS, swept the Yankees in the ALCS, and then lost to the Giants in the World Series. The Tigers didn't make a lot of moves, but when you are the World Series runner-up, there obviously isn't too much that needs to be fixed. Delmon Young and Jose Valverde are the only major departures from last year's team and the only big addition was Torii Hunter.
MLB 2012 regular-season standings
|1||NY Yank.||58.6||95-67 (162)|
|2||Ch. Sox||52.5||85-77 (162)|
|3||LA Angels||54.9||89-73 (162)|
|4||NY Mets||45.7||74-88 (162)|
|2||St Louis||54.3||88-74 (162)|
|5||Ch. Cubs||37.7||61-101 (162)|
|1||San Fran.||58.0||94-68 (162)|
|2||LA Dodg.||53.1||86-76 (162)|
|4||San Diego||46.9||76-86 (162)|
World Series titles
The table shows the overall number of World Series titles and team success in the last five seasons. (title, finals - World Series; 1/2 - League championship series; 1/4 - Playoffs)
The World Series in the last five seasons
2012 San Fran. - Detroit 4 : 0
2011 St Louis - Texas 4:3
2010 San Fran. - Texas 4:1
2009 NY Yank. - Philadel. 4:2
2008 Philadel. - Tampa 4:1