Sep 10, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts after Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) slides home to score a run during the fifth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ALDS Preview: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

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Does it get any better than postseason baseball?

I mean, seriously, what else provides the great series and matchups that we’re about to see unfold in the coming weeks? We have shutdown pitching, incredible power hitters, and thrilling finishes ahead. There are a lot of games that are worth watching every pitch of, but is there a better one than the division rivalry we’ll see take place in the Tampa Bay Rays – Boston Red Sox series?

After taking care of the Cleveland Indians in the Wild Card game, it’s time for the Rays to take on the “beasts of the AL East” when they face the Red Sox. These teams know each other just a bit, and you better believe that this is going to be a heated series.

So, who has the edge? Let’s take a closer look!

PITCHING

This is where it starts getting fun. Take a look at each of the starting pitchers that will be taking the bump, and you tell me why this won’t be the best series of the playoffs! We have David Price, Chris Archer, Clay Buchholz, and so many “Moore…(yeah, Matt Moore is here too)” in this series. Does it get much better? Each guy has his own specialty and that’s what’s going to make this fun. Top-to-bottom, we have classic pitching that might be providing a record number of scoreless innings.

I don’t trust the Rays bullpen too much, so that’s where it gets interesting. If they can hold it together for Tampa Bay, it will get very interesting.

Advantage: Even

INFIELD

There’s no denying that something special is brewing with Boston this year and it all starts with the stellar infield. Dustin Pedroia is going to be his typical self, Mike Napoli has a bit of an edge on James Loney for this series, and Stephen Drew can impress greatly. The only thing that evens it all out–Mr. Evan Longoria.

I don’t know what it is, but Longoria is just meant to play postseason baseball. Every time he steps on the diamond, something special happens and I expect the same thing to occur here.

As much as I love Evan Longoria… you have to give the slight edge to Boston.

Advantage: Red Sox

OUTFIELD

Things don’t clear up at all in this category as two evenly-matched teams get even closer. On one side, the Rays have young Wil Myers leading David Dejesus and Desmond Jennings, but on the other we’ll see elite guys like Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino.

You have to like both sides in fight. Myers could have a breakout performance under the lights, or he could crack under the pressure!

In the end, I like the crop of guys in the outfield in Boston.

Advantage: Red Sox

The Red Sox may win it on paper, but once everything unfolds, the Rays could pull off the great upset.

What do you think will happen? Weigh in at the comments section below!

 

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Tags: American League Division Series Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays

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