Between the Lines - 10-13-08

Oct 13, 2008 8:38 PM

Between The Lines by Kevin Stott |

Monday, Oct. 13

ALCS Game #3: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox (WTBS): It’s Boston’s Jon Lester (16-6) against TB’s Matt Garza (11-9) tonight in this critical game as the series heads to Beanto1wn. I just don’t think an indoor-playing, dome team like the Rays is as effective when moving outdoors – although the forecasted temperature will be around 70 degrees – and especially in an environment as hostile and home-field-friendly as Fenway Park.

The odds for the game from the Las Vegas Hilton’s SuperBook are the Red Sox as -180 favorites with the total at 8½ runs. Now that Boston has stolen the home-field advantage away from their AL East rivals, expect them to go for the three-game sweep at home here, starting with their newfound ace tonight.

A report on Boston.com, backs the new theory that southpaw Lester may be one of then most important hurler sin the postseason. An AL scout talked about the youngster’s upside.

"With so many top left-handed hitters, a strong lefty who can win a couple of games and dominate a seven-game series goes a long way toward assuring you’re winning," he said. "Boston seems to have that right now in Jon Lester."

Picking a side in this crucial game seems easy, so let’s just do it… RED SOX.

Also, you might want to grab the RED SOX to win the series at -155 before the game as a victory here today would give them a huge amount of momentum, a healthy 2-1 series advantage with two more games at home to follow and we all know Boston lives for the playoffs while the Rays are making their first appearance. RED SOX SERIES.

NLCS Game #3: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers (FOX): Even though they won on Sunday night, this is still a must-win game for the Dodgers who have decided on starting ace Derek Lowe in this crucial game tonight. Philly is starting Joe Blanton (4-0), a nice pickup from the A’s. The line is the Dodgers -178 with the total set at 7 1/2u. Expect the Dodgers to keep the momentum going tonight in a must-win situataion. DODGERS.

Tuesday, Oct. 14

ALCS Game #4: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox (WTBS): The World Champions

send knuckleballer (10-11) Tim Wakefield to the bump against the Rays Andy Sonnanstine (13-9) in what could be a very important game for TB should they have lost Monday afternoon. Advantage Boston, especially at night here, but I give the slight lean toward Tampa in terms of starting pitching here.

With the site and the starting pitchers washing each other out, the desperation factor may play a big part here. If Boston lost Monday, take the RED SOX to even up the series at 2-2. If TB lost Monday, I think Boston will be primed to win this one to set themselves up for a possible clincher at home on Thursday night. RED SOX.