Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays ALCS Prediction Game 1: Last night the Philadelphia Phillies protected their home-field advantage and took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-7-series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. Tonight, beginning at 8:27 PM ET on TBS, the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays get underway from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL in game 1 of the 2008 ALCS.
Expert MLB odds-makers at SportsBook.com have posted the following Sports Odds, which currently favor the Tampa Bay Rays [-115] taking game 1 over the visiting Boston Red Sox [+105].
In game 1, Red Sox manager Terry Francona will hand the ball over to the Japanese import, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (18-3, 2.90 ERA).
This season, Dice-K emerged as the reliable starter the Sox hoped he would become, when they went out and paid tons of money for the Japanese star.
In 2008, the 18-game winner started in 29 games, and pitched a career-high, 167.2 innings. During that span, Dice-K allowed just 128 hits, 54 earned runs, dished 94 free passes, and punched out 154.
In the 2008 postseason, Matsuzaka (0-0, 5.40 ERA) pitched 1 game in the ALDS against the LA Angels. In that game, Dice-K got a no-decision after putting in 5.0 innings of work, allowing 8 hits, 3 ER, walking 3, and striking out 5.
For the Rays, RHP James Shields (14-8, 3.56 ERA) will toe the hill in game 1. The young 14-game winner is currently 1-0 (4.26 ERA) thus far in the 2008 Postseason. In his only appearance, Shields lasted 6.1 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 1 K. The OVER/UNDER in this ALCS game 1 between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays has been set at a total of 8 runs.