Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays ALCS Pick: The Tampa Bay Rays will continue their first ever playoff run when they face their American League East nemesis Boston Red Sox in Game-1 of the American League Championship Series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays will start 14-game winner, right hander James Shields while the Red Sox will counter with right hander and 18-game winner Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Oddsmakers at online sportsbook Bodog (Bodoglife.com) list the Tampa Bay Rays, with Shields pitching, as slight -120 money line favorites for Game-1 with a 8-total. The Red Sox are getting +110 money line juice as the underdog.
Matsuzaka labored through his Game 2 ALDS start against the Angels, throwing 108 pitches over five innings and giving up eight hits and three runs. The right-hander was dominant on the road this season, going 9-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 13 starts. Despite being in the Major Leagues for just two seasons, Matsuzaka has pitched eight times against the Rays, going 2-3 with a 2.75 ERA. Five of those starts have come at Tropicana Field, where Matsuzaka is 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA. Dice-K led the Majors this season by holding opponents to a .211 batting average.
Shields got the win in Game 1 of the ALDS. He overcame a rocky third inning, in which he yielded a three-run homer to Chicago's Dewayne Wise, to turn in a respectable outing. The right-hander exited after loading the bases with one out in the seventh inning, but the Rays' bullpen held the White Sox in check to preserve the win. Shields has worked 215 innings this season — matching his total from 2007 exactly — and has thrown three of the Rays' seven shutouts.
Jed Lowrie had an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday night to give the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the Angels and a series victory.
The Red Sox got the win as -137 home favorites in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the posted total (8.5).
B.J. Upton homered twice on Monday night to lead the Rays to a 6-2 series-clinching win over the White Sox.
The Rays pulled out the victory as +119 road underdogs in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (8.5).
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