Starting pitching, continuedThe Rays have their own ace in Game 1 starter James Shields (pictured), who is fearless and nasty and sets a tone on the mound. But the righty was just 2-2 with a 5.85 ERA against the Sox this season (including a two-hitter April 27 at the Trop), and in his career is a woeful 0-3 with a 10.12 ERA at Fenway, where he'd have to pitch in Game 5. Matsuzaka lasted just five innings in each of his three starts against Tampa Bay this season, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Matt Garza will be opposite Lester in Game 3. The righthander was the only Rays starter to lose in the ALDS, giving up five runs over six innings. Andy Sonnanstine, who won the clinching Game 4 against the White Sox in the ALDS, pitched 13 scoreless innings against the Sox this year over two starts. Tim Wakefield was 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in three starts against the Rays this season, but none of those starts were at Fenway, where he posted a 3.10 ERA (compared with 5.14 on the road). The question for the Rays will be whether their staff can stand toe-to-toe against Boston's top three.
Edge: Red Sox