(Photo: Reuters/Dominick Reuter)
Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox takes place on Friday afternoon in Game 1 of the MLB 2013 AL Division Series. The Rays will be hoping to continue their fantastic run through the past few games as they in turn knocked out the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians in one game winner takes all contests. Today's game will start at 3.07 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
Today's match up on the mound will be an important one, and will see Matt Moore (17-4, 3.29) face off against Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75).
The Red Sox will be the favorites in many people's eyes, having had a fantastic season to get through to this ALDS.
However, against the Rays this year, the Red Sox have hit .208 in 19 games in total. When that is broken down the states become .147 combined in seven starts against games 1 and 2 starters Moore and Price.
Against the late inning trio of Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta and Jake McGee that stat becomes .136 (11-for-81).
In comparison, the Rays hit .315 against Lester and Lackey, which could indicate that the Rays have the edge here.
However, the Red Sox have been amazingly consistent this season, and have a solid balance to their team. Through the entire season the Red Sox have not lost more than three consecutive games, and any funk they've fallen into they've managed to correct things very quickly.
Not to mention, the Red Sox have a number of players who are on fire at the moment. Hitting .300 or better over the final four weeks of the regular season were: Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shane Victorino. Backup catchers David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway are also part of that list.
Looking at the match up overall, the Red Sox seem to have too much fire power, and even if the Rays' pitchers are at the top of their game, there just might be too much consistent pressure from the Red Sox batters for them to take this series.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox will start at 3.07 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on TBS or online through free live stream by clicking here.