The Red Sox enjoyed a relatively smooth ride in the playoffs after winning the division and conference. This will guarantee them home pitch advantage all the way to the World Series and they will also host Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals in the most important series of the season. Meanwhile, they need to outshine the Tigers, who were on the verge of elimination in a series against Oakland, before Justin Verlander pitched a gem in the decisive game.
Boston enjoyed a couple of days off after eliminating Tampa Bay in four games and were waiting for Detroit to finish its own series. They have for quality starting pitchers that can at least push the series into a decisive match and Jon Lester is their first selection. His earned run average stands at 3.71, with the numbers being just avearage when compared with the ones posted by his counterparts, yet he has 16 victories to his name in 2013.
Some might argue that Lester was lucky to benefit from the offensive prowess of the Red Sox and they would be partially right. His teammates delivered all the support he needed but when the starting pitcher had to rise to the occasion, he exceeded expectations. He was remarkable in the opening game of the series with Tampa Bay and made it unnecessary to pitch again in the fifth game. With four days between the two series, the entire Boston rotation got plenty of time to shake off injuries and sooth any soreness.
The same cannot be said about the Tigers who had everything on the line when Verlander was chosen to pitch in game five, after playing in the second match as well. Detroit chose to use him in this match and allow Max Scherzer the chance to play in the opening game, as a way of showing gratitude for his regular-season performance. He leads the American League with 21 victories and will feature in the second game of the series this time, with Anibal Sanchez playing the first game in Boston.
Last time he took to the mound things didn’t go according to the plan and Detroit lost to Oakland, but luckily for him he gets another chance to prove his worth. Overall, this promises to be a contested series, but due to the fact that the Red Sox have home pitch advantage in three games it is likely for Boston to advance to the World Series. Meanwhile pitchers should back them at full stakes in the opening game as they’re expected to win fairly easy and the odds are decently high.