The MLB playoffs live stream and TV action picks up with the 2013 ALDS on Friday afternoon. In the first of the two American League series, the league's best Boston Red Sox will host the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays enter the first round of the 2013 MLB playoffs after qualifying in a wildcard playoff game against the Cleveland Indians. Today's game will be among the televised and live online MLB playoffs coverage shown through TBS and MLB.com's subscription services.
An Oct. 4 game report from Boston Herald indicates that the Rays could be a dangerous opponent for the AL best Red Sox, due to their excellence on the mound. The two teams played nineteen times over the past MLB season, with the Rays pitching staff holding the Sox to a batting average of .208. Despite playing two extra games after the end of the season, the Rays come into this matchup on a roll and with their rotation still "lined up nicely," as the Herald reports.
In comparing the two teams, the Herald gives the Rays the edge at several key positions, including third base, where Evan Longoria has 32 home runs, 88 RBI's and a batting average of .269 this season. Compare that to Will Middlebrooks of the Sox who has 17 homers, 49 RBI's and a BA of .227. The Rays also are given the advantage at shortstop with Yunel Escobar over Stephen Drew of the Sox. However, that's where the lineup advantage stop for Tampa Bay, as the Red Sox are given the edge at just about every other position.
The Rays take the edge in terms of their starting pitching, though, and often that can be where a series is won or lost. The Rays bring in the likes of ace lefthander David Price (10-8, 3.33 ERA), and righty Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76 ERA). Those two pitched in the wildcard tie-breaker game against Texas and the wildcard game against the Indians to get the Rays here. In Game 1 at Fenway, Matt Moore gets the start for Tampa Bay, with John Lester taking the mound for the Red Sox.
The Herald gives the Red Sox the bullpen edge over Tampa Bay, which could be crucial. The Rays take back the edge with manager Joe Maddon making his fourth overall playoff appearance, while this is Red Sox manager John Farrell's first appearance. All that said, Herald writer Michael Silverman is predicting a Rays series win in 5 games over the team with the AL's best overall record. Odds makers still have the Red Sox as one of the top three teams in terms of odds to win the World Series though, so it should be interesting to see if the underdogs take this first round ALDS matchup.
Today's ALDS Game 1 between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox has a start time of 3:00 p.m. EST. Television coverage of today's game will be presented on TBS. There's also alternate angle live stream companion coverage available through the MLB Postseason.TV service. With this service fans will get a unique live online perspective from different camera angles for the game, along with many other features. See more details here at MLB.com. International viewers can see the live stream of the game through MLB's service here.