Saturday, October 6th, 2012

The MLB 2012 Playoffs: League Division Series

With the inaugural wild card playoff games in the book, the American League Division Series (ALDS) and National League Division Series (NLDS) get underway this evening. No more one-game playoffs. It's time for a round of best-of-five.

This evening, the first of two ALDS begin in Comerica Park as the Detroit Tigers (88-74) play host to the Oakland Athletics (94-68). The Tigers' last postseason appearance was during 2011 when they were defeated by the Texas Rangers during the ALCS. The Oakland Athletics have not appeared in the postseason since 2006. Oakland was swept by the Tigers during the ALCS.

Over in the National League, the first of two NLDS begin as well. The San Francisco Giants (94-68) will entertain the Cincinnati Reds (97-65). History was made the last time the Giants reached the postseason. In 2010, the Giants won their first World Series since 1954, and their first since departing New York following the 1957 season. After missing a year of postseason play, the Reds are making their first appearance since losing to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2010 NLDS.

On Sunday, the two remaining LDS will begin. The second NLDS will begin in St. Louis as the Cardinals (88-74) host the Washington Nationals (98-64). On Friday night, the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves during a sloppy and controversial one-game wild card playoff. The Nationals have never reached the playoffs since relocating to the District of Columbia. The only time the franchise reached the postseason was during 1981 as the Montreal Expos. The Expos were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers during the NLCS.

Finally, the Baltimore Orioles (93-69) will host the division rival New York Yankees (95-67) during the second ALDS. After battling all season for supremacy in the AL East, the two teams will meet in this best-of-five series. On Friday night, the Orioles defeated the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers. The last time the Yankees appeared in the postseason, they were eliminated by the Detroit Tigers during the 2011 ALDS.

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