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Game 3 Gambling Preview: 2008 ALCS

2008 MLB ALCS Betting Preview – Sportsbook.com Baseball Playoff Odds

October 13, 4:37 PM | Fenway Park
Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Game 3
Red Sox By 1 1/2 (-185 ML)

All the action for MLB Playoff Game betting is right here, in depth gameday previews, analysis, team news, betting trends, injuries, and team records…

The Tampa Bay Rays avoided a dreaded 0-2 start with an extra-inning Saturday night win, but it’s the Boston Red Sox who are the favorites today at home.

Sportsbook.com has Boston as -180 favorites and has proven to be deadly in this price range. As is the case of all ALCS games this season, TBS will have the telecast, with first pitch set for 4:37 pm ET.
Despite the Saturday loss, Boston is far from disappointed with returning to Fenway Park with the split. The Red Sox had the majors’ second-best home record at 57-26 this season, and have won 12 of their last 15 playoff games at Fenway. Boston has also won 32 of their last 39 games at home against the Rays.

Jon Lester (17-6, 3.01 ERA) has become a post-season beast (no earned runs in 19 2/3 innings) and presently is the best pitcher on the Boston staff. He is perfectly suited to take on a team like the free swinging Rays, being 12-0 against the money line versus teams whose hitters strike out seven or more times a game over the last two seasons.

The young left-hander has become an accomplished stopper as well, as he and Boston are 10-2 when he pitches after a loss.

Tampa Bay is taking the right approach in learning from winning at Fenway earlier in the year, taking their first ever series at the venerable ballyard. “Those (wins at Boston) were huge momentum shifts,” Tampa pitcher Matt Garza, told the team’s official Web site. “We needed those two in Boston – it let us know there is no curse, that we can play there and win.”

Garza (11-10, 3.82 ERA) is going to have to pitch the game of his life to win the pivotal Game 3, and he is capable with a 3-1 mark against the Red Sox with a 3.86 ERA. He’s also backed by the Rays feeding off the energy of a close win being 21-8 after a one run win this season.

The Red Sox are 45-16 as a favorite of -150 or more this season and 24-5 as a home favorite of -150 to -200. Lester and his teammates have been a nearly unbeatable combination with a 14-1 record as a home favorite of -110 or higher, wining by 4.4 runs per game.

Tampa Bay is 39-23 versus an American League starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.00 or better this season and Garza will have to pitch better on the road than he has all season. The Rays right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.72 ERA in 16 road starts.

StatFox Power Line – Boston -142


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