Start of MLB playoffs signals league-wide power shift

New teams infuse race to World Series with unpredictability, excitement

The Major League Baseball playoffs are finally upon us.

After 162 games (or 163, in some cases), the final teams are set, and the hunt for the Commissioner’s Trophy is on.

The 2013 postseason signifies the culmination of a changing of the guard in MLB. Gone from the postseason are traditional powers like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies.

This October, the new faces of baseball get their chance to take aim at the World Series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are leading this charge of Davids that have overtaken MLB’s Goliaths.

The Pirates are experiencing the postseason for the first time since 1992. To put that in perspective, 1992 was the year the Cold War officially ended. It was also the year Bill Clinton was elected to his first term as President of the United States.

Twenty-one years without the playoffs. Chew on that, Bills fans. But this year, finally, the Pirates have made it.

Joining them in the wild-card matchup are the Cincinnati Reds. They’ve made it three of the past four seasons. Before that, though, it had been 15 years since the Reds saw the postseason.

In the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays are in the playoffs for just the fourth time in franchise history. The Cleveland Indians are in for the first time in six years and just the second time in 12 years.

Even some of the bigger-name clubs are experiencing success for the first time in recent history.

Oakland is in for the second time in eight years. The Red Sox for the first time in four seasons.

The Detroit Tigers, who have won three consecutive AL Central titles, have only made the playoffs four times since 1987.

All of this adds up to a much different postseason than those of the 2000s, when the playoffs featured pretty much identical teams year in and year out.

The new wave of MLB powers is here, and it figures to produce one of the most entertaining postseasons we’ve had in a while.

Every team has a chance win it all this year. Of the teams in the playoffs, only the Red Sox and Cardinals have won a World Series in the last 19 seasons.

October is the most exciting time of the year for baseball fans. This season, the playoffs should be even more exciting than usual because of all the new names and faces taking part.

So sit back and enjoy it, as the Boys of Summer become the Men of Fall.