Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox hits against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 4, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox hits against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 4, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox hits against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 4, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Game Details:

Who: Tampa Bay Rays (92-71) at Boston Red Sox (97-65)

What: ALDS Game 2

Where: Fenway Park in Boston, MA

When: 5:37 pm EST

TV Channel: TBS

Pitching Matchup: David Price (10-8, 3.33 ERA) vs John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)

After an exciting Game 1 that saw The Red Sox manhandle the Rays, we arrive at a vital Game 2. Boston will try to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best of five series while the Rays will try to put Game 1 behind them and even up the series going back to Tampa.

John Lackey will be starting for Boston and fortunately for Sox fans, he’ll still be in the shelter of Fenway Park. At home this season, Lackey has fared far better than he has on the road and Sox manager John Farrell will be sure to manage his rotations to allow Lackey to make starts in Boston. For the Rays, David Price will take the mound. Price is coming off of a fantastic performance in the tiebreaker game against the Rangers where he gave up two runs in a complete game. Boston’s tough lineup should have their hands full with the lefty who has been especially on point as of late. The last time Price gave up more than two earned runs was exactly a month ago against the Angels.

With an interdivision season series that featured three walk-offs and an opening game like we saw yesterday, I’d be ready for anything in Game 2.

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Blogger Predictions:

Despite the interesting pitching matchup, Ben Buchanan of Over The Monster (@OverTheMonster) continues to believe the burden of winning the series lies with the Red Sox offense:

“What this series really seems likely to come down to, though, is whether or not Boston can continue to hit as they have all year. Jacoby Ellsbury seems healthy enough, Shane Victorino is as tough as ever, Dustin Pedroia turned it on late, David Ortiz kept his renaissance going, and Mike Napoli had as good a September as ever. Add in productive years from Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as well as a left field semi-platoon from Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes that’s produced more than any American League left fielder outside of Mike Trout, and you’ve got one dangerous bunch of players. The starting lineup is better than any other at wearing down pitchers, and just when Joe Maddon thought he could play matchups, they’ve got Mike Carp, Xander Bogaerts, and the other half of the Nava/Gomes platoon off the bench.”

 

Red and Denton of Surviving Grady (@SurvivingGrady) think that a 1-0 lead will take needed pressure off of John Lackey in Game 2. The “must-win” Game 1 victory will set the tone for a raucous crowd to back Lackey in the second game. Check out the full podcast here:

David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of the American League Wild Card tiebreaker game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 30, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of the American League Wild Card tiebreaker game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 30, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

David Hill (@M1sterDave) from Rays Colored Glasses explains how the Lackey-Price matchup strongly favors the Rays:

“Against Lackey, the Rays have produced a .388/.423/.592 batting line with two home runs and nine runs over 10 innings. That barrage has led to an ERA of 8.10 against Tampa, as the Rays have averaged over two baserunners an inning against the righty…Game Two starter David Price has also dominated the Sox this year. Ignore the 2-2 record; he has held Boston to a .167/.186/.289 slash line, resulting in a 2.48 ERA.”

However, winning a key series has never been decided by one game. It’s those who take that crucial step to ignite a fire within, that drives them to victory. According to Ben Jandrain (@ClutchBlogger) of Clutch Sports Blog there’s only one player on the field with that kind of ability:

“There’s a lot of talented pitchers in this series but one stands out in my mind. David Price. He will be the man that wins or loses the series for the Rays.

It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Rays have a dynamic pitching staff and according to Tim Britton (@TimBritton) at Providence Journal, the key to victory is much more simple:

“In order to win this series, the Red Sox are going to have to beat top-line starting pitching. But the Sox have the lineup that can wear out a starter and exploit the Rays’ bullpen.”

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Here’s what the fans are saying on Twitter. Want to be featured in a future post? Send your predictions to @movoliSports!

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