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MLB Boston Red SoxMLB Playoffs

MLB Playoffs: Breaking Down the Boston Red Sox’ ALDS Rotation

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox will be taking on the Tampa Bay Rays starting Friday, in a best of five ALDS series. In a short series like the ALDS, arguably the most important player is the Game 1 starter.

Game 1 will be started by Jon Lester, and will be opposed by Matt Moore. The Rays are unable to start David Price on Friday, since he pitched the one game tiebreaker against the Texas Rangers on Monday.  Lester went 15-8 this season, with an ERA of 3.75, but an ERA of just 2.19 since Aug. 3. If the series goes five games, Lester would likely get the nod in Game 5.

The Rays have not yet announced the rotation following Game 1, but the Red Sox will start John Lakcey in Game 2. Lakcey had a record of just 10.13 this season, but had an ERA of 3.52 and one of the lower run supports in the AL this season. He is also no stranger to big games; in his rookie year, he led the Los Angeles Angels to a World Series title.

Game 3 will feature Clay Buchholz. Buchholz missed nearly three months due to injury, but pitched well down the stretch. His season totals were an incredible 12-1 record with an ERA of just 1.74. The Rays’ position players have hit just .209 against Buchholz in his career, including just three home runs in 234 at-bats.

If the game goes to a fourth game, Jake Peavy will get the nod. Peavy did not have a great ERA after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox (4.04), but he is a real competitor and seems to have his best games in the biggest moments.

The Rays will have Alex Cobb and Price pitch in the series, which might give the Rays a slight edge, but overall, it should be a very well-pitched series.

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