Three at Tampa when the Rays are on the upswing and our guys are struggling. Right now the AL East does in fact have a bunch of good teams with winning records, with Toronto the only ones with a losing record.
Here are the items that worry me about this series. Tampa is 7-3 in their last 10, we're 2-8. Tampa is much better at home than on the road and now have overall a winning record. We will basically have our three best starters--Lackey, Lester, and Buchholz--and they will have three good ones, but the problem is they are starting two lefties in the series and the Sox have not fared well against lefties. We will have a good lineup, but one which has struggled with RISP. Also a good defense, but one which has made a lot errors recently. And a bullpen which is suspect with Hanrahan and Bailey out and Uehara and Tazawa showing signs of not exactly being lights out--ditto Miller. No one, really, who can be counted on for a clean inning. All of these factors could affect what so far has been a very good attitude by the team.
Some reasons to hope. The day off came at a good time. The defense without the errors is pretty good, and those three starteers have been very good so far. All three would easily pitch into the 7th, 8th, or even 9th inning. Middlebrooks and Drew are showing signs of life at the plate. Ellsbury is due, as is Ortiz--both can hit better than they have recently. Sox swept the Rays in April.
Sox win 2 of 3.