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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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ALDS Game 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox Start Time, Odds

Game 1 of the ALDS gets under way tonight and we will see the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. First pitch is scheduled for a 3:07 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on TBS.  

Current Odds

Tampa Bay    +133
Boston           -143

Over/ Under: 7.5 O -120

Analysis: Tampa's season nearly ended Sunday, but it kept it alive by winning the last game of the regular season in Toronto and then a day later, the Rays clinched their fourth postseason trip in six years by upending the Texas Rangers in a one- game tiebreaker to capture the AL's second wild card spot. After that the Rays took out the Cleveland Indians in the Wildcard playoff, shutting out the Indians 4-0. The Rays have now won 10 of their last 12 going back to the regular season, with the pitching holding opponents to 2.83 runs in that span. Matt Moore gets the ball for the rays after going 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA on the year. Moore is making his third career postseason appearance - second start - and yielded a total of one run on three hits in 10 innings during the 2011 ALDS. The 24-year-old hurler pitched well against the Red Sox in two starts during the regular season, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings. Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria is batting just .196 with 34 strikeouts in 26 postseason games.  The Rays beat Boston in seven games in the 2008 ALCS - the only postseason meeting between the teams.

Boston is the top seed in the American and are well rested for this one. The 97 wins they posted this year were the second most for the team since 1978. Jon Lester will get the ball in Game 1 for the Red Sox. He did struggle through 2012, posting a 9-14 ledger with a 4.82 ERA, but bounced back this year, going 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA. Lester had a string of nine straight quality starts come to an end at Baltimore last Saturday, when he was reached for four runs on nine hits in five innings. The 29-year-old faced Tampa Bay four times in the regular season and went 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA. Lester is 2-3 with a 2.57 ERA in eight career postseason games - six starts - but went 0-2 against the Rays in the 2008 ALCS. Offensively the Red Sox are still led by 37-year-old designated hitter David Ortiz, who put forth his seventh 30-homer/100-RBI season and hit .309 to boot. Shane Victorino was one of the team's top performers this season, hitting .294 with 15 home runs, 61 RBI, 82 runs scored and 21 stolen bases and he has driven in 30 runs in 46 playoff games.

Pick: The Red Sox have been one of the best home teams all year and I feel that will continue here. Yes the Rays have Moore on the mound, but Lester has been solid this year overall and is 7-1 with a 3.09 ERA at Fenway. Lester has pitched well down the stretch, but Moore has not with a 5.02 ERA in his last 3 starts. He also has had control issues of late with 20 walk in his last 6 starts. Boston is the top seed and they will show it with a solid win vs the Rays ace here.

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