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Series Preview: Rays @ Boston

Probables (tRA)

9/8: Edwin Jackson (5.46) vs. Jon Lester (3.93)

Lester is a lefty challenging Josh Beckett for the ace crown. Everyone knows about his battle with cancer, it's a nice story, but people should know about Lester because he is a good pitcher, not because of his amazing personal story. Peter Bendix wrote about Lester here and came to the conclusion that Lester was beginning to command his pitches better. As for Edwin, Sky Kalkman pointed out that he might be the next Victor Zambrano, my response: Clayton Kershaw please!

9/9: Scott Kazmir (3.89) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.30)

The battle of Ks in this game represents the Rays best chance at taking one from Boston this week. Kazmir, even in his current cocoon-like state is still better than Matsuzaka. If you want a primer on what Daisuke looks like, just think Edwin Jackson, but from Japan, and paid nearly eight million more.

9/10: Andy Sonnanstine (4.05)  vs. Josh Beckett (3.67)

This could potentially become the rubber game in the series or it could be the game the Rays need to take in order to avoid losing their first place position.

Red Sox lineup (Batting Runs Above Average)

CF Ellsbury  -12.3
2B Pedroia 23.3
DH Ortiz 8.0
1B Youkilis 31.0
LF Bay 3.4 (with Sox)
3B Lowell 4.4
SS Lowrie -0.7
C Varitek -12.2
RF Kotsay 4.5 (with Braves)

Rays lineup (BRAA)

2B Iwamura 2.5
CF Upton 10.3
1B Pena 18.4
DH Baldelli 4.4
3B Aybar -0.3
LF Zobrist -2.9
SS Bartlett -12.3
C Navarro 5.2
RF Ruggiano -5.5

Defenses (DER)

Rays: .711

Boston .701