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ALCS Game 1 Open Thread - Red Sox at Rays

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Somewhat arbitrarily I decided that RR would take the first round of the playoffs off in terms of having game threads. Well, thankfully, that boring as hell round is over. Similarly, as a show of fidelity to the good ole American League, we'll only be doing proper game threads for the ALCS here. For NLCS games, look for fanposts and fanshots that will temporarily be on the main page; during the offseason I like to give posts a little more time to breathe the glory of the front page...

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As for tonight's game, I have no idea what to expect. I'll be pulling for the Rays of course (unless you are a Boston fan I don't know how you could do otherwise) but because of that I am convinced the Red Sox will win. Still, this isn't a vintage Red Sox team: shaky bullpen, mediocre starters who are outperforming their stuff/peripherals and a lineup that just doesn't quite look as scary as their standard fare. Too much Jed Lowrie, too much Jason Varitek, too much Coco Crisp, too much Mark Kotsay for my liking.

Your pitching matchup is Dice K (2.90 ERA) versus Shields (3.56 ERA).