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What's better than watching your favorite team win the World Series?
If you're a baseball fan, the answer is "not much." But Ticket Liquidator is going to make it even sweeter for you this season if your team wins it all. If you purchase your MLB tickets at Ticket Liquidator in the month of July, and the home team on the ticket wins the World Series, we will refund your ticket purchase.
It's only July, so there's still plenty of time for teams to crawl back into the already-cloudy playoff race. Just weeks ago, the San Francisco Giants had a nine game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers -- and that lead has since evaporated. That's part of the beauty of baseball -- the season is long, and anything can happen in the second half of the season. I know I'll never forget the Cardinals being 10 games out of a playoff spot at the end of August in 2011, storming back, clinching the Wild Card on the last day of the season thanks to a gem by Chris Carpenter, watching the Cardinals defeat the heavily favored Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS -- once again thanks to Carpenter -- before dispatching the Milwaukee Brewers to win the pennant.
And then, of course, the Cardinals met the Rangers in the 2011 World Series, in what was the most entertaining World Series this century. I'll never forget where I was when Albert Pujols hit three home runs in Game 3, or where I was when David Freese belted a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth inning from Neftali Feliz with the Cardinals trailing 7-5 off the right field wall, tying the game at 7. Or where I was when Lance Berkman tied the game off of Scott Feldman in the 10th inning -- or where I was when Freese hit a walk-off home run in Game 6, sending the series to Game 7.
I certainly won't forget where I was when the Cardinals won Game 7 that year, either, and the absolute sheer excitement that ensued. I didn't care the next day that I lost power for a week after a freak snow storm in Connecticut -- I was properly perched on Cloud Nine.
St. Louis was left for dead with less than 30 games to go in the season -- How could that have been any better? Well, if I had power the next week, sure, but if I had a rebate check coming in to refund tickets I purchased that year to watch my favorite team, and to be able to say I saw the '11 Cardinals? Yeah, that would be pretty awesome -- and I could easily have used that money on all sorts of World Series champions gear that I inevitably purchased.
What's the point? Well, the point is that you never know if your team is going to come back and do the improbable. The point is that it's awesome to be able to say you saw your team play the year they won the World Series. The point is that it's even better to get to watch your favorite team for free that year.
Having trouble deciding what game to go to? Don't think your team is going to win the World Series? That's alright -- here's a home series for each team that should showcase some excellent matchups. And hey, you never know if your team will come roaring back in the second half.
Blue Jays -- Blue Jays fans should head out to the Rogers Centre during the last week of the season. Toronto will be right in the playoff hunt, and take on the Mariners in a four-game set (9/22-9/25), before hosting the Orioles (9/26-9/28) in a series that could decide the AL East.
Orioles -- Baltimore will play host to the Yankees 9/12-9/14, in a weekend series at Camden Yard. This series will likely have major playoff implications, and Orioles fans will certainly want to do their best to outnumber the travelling Yankees faithful.
Yankees -- The Bronx Bombers host the Red Sox between 9/2-9/4 for the last time this season. Perhaps the Red Sox will have crawled back into the playoff picture by then, but even if they haven't, this is still the most intense rivalry in baseball.
Red Sox -- Not much has gone right for the Sox this season, but they still have the second half of the year to make up ground. And there aren't many better places to catch a game than Fenway. Boston will host Mike Trout and the Angels for a four-game set (8/18-8/21). It's worth going just to see Trout -- trust me, he's a player you're going to want to tell your children and grandchildren that you saw him play.
Rays -- Like the Sox, little has gone right for the Rays this season. Rays fans should head to Tropicana Field in August to see the Rays host the Tigers (8/19-8/21), as a Price-Verlander matchup could be on the docket.
Tigers -- The Tigers have had one of the best teams in baseball for years, but haven't been able to win the World Series. Detroit hosts the Giants (9/5-9/7) -- the same Giants who lead the NL West, and the same Giants who swept the Tigers in the World Series just two years ago. Some revenge would be nice, right Tigers fans?
Royals -- Kansas City is back in contention for the second straight year, after years of futility. Royals fans should be sure to head to the excellent Kauffman Stadium to watch the Royals host the A's in a four-game series (8/11-8/14). Oakland is currently the best team in baseball, so this could be a good barometer for KC.
Indians -- The Indians are lurking in the playoff picture, and need to put together a bit of a winning streak if they're going to return to the playoffs. Indians fans will, at the least, want to head out to Progressive Field to watch the Indians take on their in-state rivals, the Cincinnati Reds, August 4 and 5.
Twins -- Nah, the Twins probably aren't going to the playoffs this year. I'm not going to try to tell you they are. But if you're going to head out to Target Field this summer, why not go watch the Twins play host to the Rays (7/18-7/20)? Target Field will still be buzzing from the All-Star Game that it hosted just days prior, and it's a good way to kick off the second half of the season -- at a game at the beautiful Target Field.
White Sox -- Chicago fans haven't had much to be excited about in recent years, but White Sox fans have to be downright giddy over Jose Abreu. The White Sox host the Royals for a four-game set to end the season (9/25-9/28), and it's worth being there to see how many home runs the rookie will hit. Can he break Mark McGwire's rookie record? It's possible.
A's -- Oakland is pushing to win its third straight division crown, but have the Angels to fend off this year. Oakland hosts the Angels in its second-to-last series of the year -- and it could decide the AL West. Be there at O.co Coliseum 9/22-9/24 to watch the A's take on Trout and the Halos.
Angels -- Halos fans have a reason to head out to Angel Stadium this year, as the Angels are finally performing to expectations. There's truly not a bad series left on the schedule, but Angels fans will want to back Angel Stadium in late August, when the Halos take on the A's for a four-game set (8/28-8/31).
Mariners -- Seattle is back in contention, as they should be after spending over $200 million on a free agent -- I'm looking at you, Robinson Cano. Seattle plays host to the Angels the last weekend of the season (9/26-9/28), and they series could decide Seattle's playoff fate.
Rangers -- It's one of those seasons for the Rangers. Anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. That's ok though -- Rangers fans have experienced unprecedented success for the franchise in recent years, and fans should still head out to Globe Life Park to root the Rangers on. Texas hosts Atlanta for an interleague series (9/12-9/14) that should be entertaining, as the Braves make a rare trip to Arlington.
Astros -- Here's a wild card for you, Astros fans. No, Houston isn't going to make the playoffs this year, but there's an exciting nucleus in place. You know what would be fun? I would absolutely go watch the Astros take on the Marlins (7/25-7/27). Miami also has a solid young team, led by the powerful Giancarlo Stanton. Remember when Albert Pujols basically hit a ball back to Missouri in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS off of Brad Lidge? Stanton could probably park one even further. It's worth going just to see Stanton.
Fan of a National League team? Check back tomorrow for my National League picks.
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