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6. Detroit Tigers (90-72) (LW 6) – Detroit is back in the playoffs, looking to redeem itself after losing in last year’s ALCS. Then, the Tigers’ bullpen was their undoing. Will it hold up better this October? Detroit’s bullpen ERA this year was 4.30, which was the fourth-worst in MLB.
7. Kansas City Royals (89-73) (LW 9) – The Royals are back in the playoffs for the first time since 1985, and they get to host the Wild-Card game. James Shields will get the ball after a solid September in which he was 2-1 in five starts with a 2.31 ERA.
8. San Francisco Giants (88-74) (LW 7) – If the Giants can get through the Wild-Card game, they will have Jake Peavy to match up against the Nationals. In 12 games with San Francisco since his trade from Boston, he is 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, which are among the best of his career.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates (88-74) (LW 8) –In committing to their push for the N.L. Central title down the stretch, the Pirates took Francisco Liriano out of the equation for the Wild-Card game. The Giants were just 30-30 against lefties this year. Though Edinson Volquez has been good this year, San Francisco was 58-44 against righties. At least for Pittsburgh, they tied for the N.L.’s best home record at 51-30.
10. Oakland Athletics (88-74) (LW 10) – It came down to Game 162, but the A’s managed to keep from completing a historic collapse and snuck into the postseason. Oakland did go 5-2 against Kansas City this season, but the A’s stumbled to a 10-16 record in the final month of the year.
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