MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 18

MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 18

BOSTON (100 - 71) at TAMPA BAY (103 - 68)
JOSH BECKETT (R) vs. JAMES SHIELDS (R)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
TAMPA BAY is 13-10 (+5.2 Units) against BOSTON this season
13 of 23 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL this season . (Over=+2.9 Units)

JOSH BECKETT vs. TAMPA BAY since 1997
BECKETT is 5-3 when starting against TAMPA BAY with an ERA of 3.93 and a WHIP of 1.155.
His team's record is 5-6 (-4.7 units) in these starts. The OVER is 5-6. (-1.2 units)

JAMES SHIELDS vs. BOSTON since 1997
SHIELDS is 2-5 when starting against BOSTON with an ERA of 4.81 and a WHIP of 1.212.
His team's record is 2-7 (-5.2 units) in these starts. The UNDER is 5-4. (+0.2 units)


American League Championship Series
Best of Seven
Game Six
Rays Leads, 3-2
TV: TBS
Boston at Tampa Bay, 8:05 ET
Josh Beckett (R) vs. James Shields (R)

Beckett:
0-3 TSR, 9.39 ERA L3 starts
Boston 2-9 at Tampa Bay

Shields:
TB 13-1 at home on Saturday
TB 47-20 as a home favorite


BOSTON vs. TAMPA BAY
Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Boston is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home


Tips and Trends

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Red Sox: Josh Beckett will need a much better effort here than in his previous two playoff appearances in which he allowed 18 hits and 12 runs in just 9.1 innings of work. Coming into the postseason, Beckett was 5-3 against the Rays, but they ripped him in Game 2 for eight runs in just 4.1 innings. Both of Beckett’s playoff starts have gone OVER the total.

Red Sox are 2-10 in the last 12 meetings in Tampa Bay.
Red Sox are 1-4 in Beckett’s last 5 road starts vs. Tampa Bay.

Key Injuries - 3B Mike Lowell (back) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 4

Rays (-145, O/U 8.5): James Shields will look to turn out the lights on the Red Sox tonight and help the Rays advance to the World Series. Shields lost Game 1 of this series but pitched well, allowing just two runs over 7.1 innings of work. Shields has struggled overall against the Red Sox in his career, going 2-4 with a 5.23 ERA. However, he has been very strong at home, going 9-2 at Tropicana Field with a 2.59 ERA during the regular season and 1-1 in two playoffs starts with a 3.29 ERA.

Rays are 2-7 in Shields' last 9 starts vs. Boston.
The OVER is 14-5 in Tampa Bay's last 19 games on field turf.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 5

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Re: MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 18

My prediction is the Rays choke now and Boston goes back to the World Series

Michael Cash
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Re: MLB Playoffs News and Notes October 18

Saturday's mound matchup
COVERS.com

Josh Beckett (Boston Red Sox) vs. James Shields (Tampa Bay Rays)

Josh Beckett RHP (12-10, 4.03 ERA)


History is apparently repeating itself in the American League Championship Series. Boston is back from the dead with a Game 5 victory and hands the ball to Beckett for Saturday’s tilt in Tampa Bay. The right hander, however, is not performing like postseasons past.

Beckett got smashed for eight earned runs in over four innings pitched last weekend. He served up three home runs in the 9-8 extra-inning loss to the Rays in Game 2. His twangy oblique could be damaging Beckett’s October reputation, which dropped to a 6-2 career postseason record and a 2.85 playoff ERA.

Manager Terry Francona dismissed the rumors that Beckett’s injury is worse than first reported. But it is obvious that Beckett doesn’t have the same zip on his fastball and his breaking ball isn’t what it used to be.

James Shields RHP (14-8, 3.56 ERA)

Shields can make manager Joe Maddon looks like a genius with a victory in Game 6. The Rays righty was bumped from Game 5 in Fenway to an if-necessary start Saturday. Maddon’s logic behind the move was Shields’ stellar 10-3 home record and 2.66 ERA inside Tropicana.

Shields was again solid at home in his most recent start. He allowed just two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings of work, but couldn’t get the run support in Game 1 of the ALCS. That shouldn’t be a problem this time around. The Rays are hammering the ball in the past four games, scoring 38 total runs.

He is getting an extra day of rest to hone his lethal off-speed pitches. Shields has kept batters off balance and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10-3 in his two postseason starts.

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