Tonight the Wild Card race will conclude when the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers square off in Game 163. The term “game 163″ should bring chills to the collective spines of Detroit Tigers fans. It was in 2009 when the Minnesota Twins defeated the Tigers in a one game playoff to clinch a playoff berth.
The 2013 version of game 163 will feature the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. The winner will advance to meet the Cleveland Indians in the wild card game. The Indians played red-hot baseball down the stretch winning 15 of 17 games to finish the season and clinch the #1 wildcard slot.
So who should the Tiger fans be rooting for?
The immediate impact of Game 163 won’t really effect the Tigers unless that team goes on to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. That could happen considering a number of wildcard winners have not only been competitive in the playoffs but have advanced as far as the World Series. The 2006 World Series match-up between the Cardinals and the Tigers was a battle of wild cards. A series Tiger fans would rather forget, however it serves as a reminder not to underestimate the wild card team.
Of the three possible teams that could emerge from the wild card game, the Detroit Tigers clearly have the Cleveland Indians number. The Tigers finished 15-4 against the Indians in 2013 and looked as dominate as the record suggests. The team that Detroit would least like to see emerge from the Wild Card is the Texas Rangers. They have a 3-4 record against the Rangers and have had trouble matching up against the Rangers in the past.
Bottom line is the winner of the AL tie-breaker wont’ really effect the Tigers unless that team gets passed the Boston Red Sox. Even then, the Tigers have to get past their ALDS opponent the Oakland A’s. But if the Tiger fans had to pick they should probably root for the Indians to advance.
Watch Game 163 on TBS on Monday starting at 8 pm from Arlington Texas and keep up with the 2013 MLB postseason by logging on to Detroit Jock City for all the latest news and views.