Yesterday saw the close of the 162-game MLB regular season... and with that, the eight teams heading to the postseason were finalized. The four teams heading to the postseason for the American League clinched their spots last Tuesday but the race to the postseason in the National League went to the very last day. The Braves, Giants and Padres battled to the last game for two spots: the NL West pennant and the wild card spot. Despite a valiant effort by the Padres, the Braves and Giants came out on top, as the Padres suffered a disappointed 0-3 loss to the Giants.
Three out of the four Division Series will start this Wednesday. In the American League, the Yankees will go to Minneapolis to face the Twins and the Rangers will travel to Tampa Bay to face off against the Rays for Game 1. In the National League, the Reds will play the Phillies on Wednesday while the Braves and Giants have an extra day off and start in San Francisco on Thursday.
Tickets for the postseason have been on sale for a while now, and with the teams finalized, expect prices to change and tickets to sell faster than ever. Let's take a look at the average ticket prices in the resale market for the upcoming four Division Series:
Rangers vs. Rays
Ticket prices for the Rangers/Rays series are demanding an average of $91.67 on the secondary market. The price disparity between games being played at Tropicana Field and at Rangers Park in Arlington is stark. Here is the breakdown:
Game 1 @ Rays: $68.57
Game 2 @ Rays: $65.99
Game 3 @ Rangers: $135.67
Game 4 @ Rangers: $115.51
Game 5 @ Rays: $72.60
Games being played at Rangers Park are selling for much more than those being played in Tropicana Field. Despite the Rays' strong performance this year, leading the AL East with the Yankees throughout the entire season, ticket prices have been low. They have frequently been in the bottom ten of price rankings for all thirty teams. Perhaps fans will be more driven to going out to Tropicana Field to see the Rays play the Rangers in the coming days after the Rays beat out the Yankees to win the AL East pennant, historically the toughest one to obtain in baseball, but due to the earliness of the first two home games, a significant jump in prices is unlikely.
The Rays have home field advantage, but on top of that, they achieved the best road record in the majors this year. Can the young Rangers beat the energetic Rays roster to head to the AL Championship? Or will Evan Longoria's return to the lineup boost the Rays to victory?
Yankees vs. Twins
So far, the Yankees vs. Twins match up commands the highest average ticket prices across Division Series games.
Game 1 @ Twins: $150.54
Game 2 @ Twins: 147.93
Game 3 @ Yankees: $120.10
Game 4 @ Yankees: $111.59
Game 5 @ Twins: $148.98
Series tickets come out to an unsurprising average of $135.83 a pop. The Twins have performed well in recent years and fans are still hoping for their regular season success to carry over to the postseason. Ticket prices for the Minnesota Twins have dropped in recent months but fans are clearly willing to shell out top-dollar to see their team in the postseason.
This match will be difficult, as the Twins have never beaten the Yanks in a postseason series. This year, however, the Twins do have the benefit of home field advantage as well as the brand new Target Field. The new ballpark has been hard on home-run hitters and with the first two games in Minneapolis, Target Field can potentially dampen the Yankees' hitting prowess to get the Twins off to a good start. Expect prices to go up as we get even closer to the series, as the match up will surely be an exciting one!
Reds vs. Phillies
Ticket prices for the Reds/Phillies series follow the same pattern as those of the Yankees/Twins. Average prices are similar, coming out to $134.77/ticket as compared to $135.83/ticket for the aforementioned series.
Game 1 @ Phillies: $147.78
Game 2 @ Phillies: $151.59
Game 3 @ Reds: $121.75
Game 4 @ Reds: $112.23
Game 5 @ Phillies: $140.50
The Phillies enter the postseason boasting the best regular season record in the majors. Their ticket prices climbed rapidly throughout September, so it's no surprise that their home games for the Division Series lead ticket prices along with the Twins. After a year of low ticket prices, prices are finally climbing as fans pour into Great American Ball Park to see the Cincinnati Reds take on the Phillies after years of mediocrity--this is the team's first time in the playoffs in a decade and a half.
This match up features the two teams who led the National League with runs this year. Needless to say, both teams have hitting power, and a lot of it at that. Will the young Reds team be able to overcome the veteran Phillies, who bring a stellar bullpen in addition to a star lineup into the series? If the Reds can tough out Phillies' pitching staff in the first two games, expect prices to soar as they travel back to Cincinnati.
Braves vs. Giants
The Braves and Giants' postseason fates were not determined until yesterday, so it is fitting that they will have a later start (Game 1 is on Thursday). This should be an exciting match up, but the average ticket price for the series comes out to just $98.31 because of lagging prices in Atlanta.
Game 1 @ Giants: $124.44
Game 2 @ Giants: $133.42
Game 3 @ Braves: $51.51
Game 4 @ Braves: $51.02
Game 5 @ Giants: $131.17
Fans are paying fewer dollars to see the Braves in the playoffs than they are to see the Rays! Although I've never been a Braves fan, I do hope they do show a little more support for the team in coming days as we approach the retirement of long-time Braves' manager Bobby Cox. Tickets prices are much higher (and more reasonable) for the games being played in San Francisco.
The Braves and Giants are pretty evenly matched; the Braves won four games while the Giants took three games when they faced off earlier in the season. The Braves are, however, riddled with injuries from top to bottom while the Giants come in intact and with a strong pitching staff. If the young team can put up a good fight in San Francisco, expect prices for the games in Turner Field to increase.
That's all for now. Rev up for an exciting postseason in the MLB and be sure to get out to the ballpark to cheer your team to victory (or your enemy to defeat)!
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