Hot on the heels of a spectacularly tense few weeks in baseball, the action on the field resumed, after a short break, for the 2014 MLB playoffs which began on Friday, October 10, and will end on Wednesday, October 29.
Both leagues promise plenty of surprises for fans, with the American League being touted as the most unpredictable of the two, as teams who haven’t played against each other in decades finally clash together again in this year’s postseason schedule.
What to look out for in this postseason
Matches from the American League Championship Series started the postseason, followed the day after by those from the National League Championship Series. With just under three weeks to go, there are various battles between the teams which fans and commentators alike have decreed as must-follow storylines.
One of the struggles that will play out during the postseason is that of Adam Wainwright of the San Francisco Cardinals, whose recent injuries have left him unable to perform to the full, putting in jeopardy his ability to last long in the field.
Another big question which everyone is expects to be answered during the postseason is whether the Cardinals can keep up the with fantastic string of clutch hits they put together, or whether the magic will finally wear out and the team’s streak of good luck sputter and stop suddenly in its tracks.
Finally, speed and defense seem to top power as the main contributors to a team’s success, a trend which is persisting even at this stage. Teams like the Royals are swiping bases from under their opponent’s noses thanks to the agility of their players, whilst the Orioles and other top-ranked teams rank highly in defense ratings, making it likely that defensive strategies will take center stage during the playoffs.
Baseball fans’ digital engagement on the rise
The buzz over the 2014 baseball playoffs has found a home online and on mobile, with digital engagement figures going through the roof. The number of fans following the postseason on their smartphones has increased by 62%.
The excitement is spreading like wildfire across social media platforms as well. There have been over half a billion impressions on Facebook connected to the postseason matches, with engagement peaking during the most dramatic games.
Another digital arena where baseball fans are congregating are online sportsbooks where they can put their analysis of the game to a practical use and win real money!
There are many reputable and trustworthy online sportsbooks (the options for US fans are listed here) that offer favourable betting lines on MLB postseason matches on top of generous sign-up offers and promotions that boost the odds of fans having a thrilling time during the playoffs.