2008 ALCS: The front four matchups

Starting rotations have been announced by both teams, and here are the matchups:

Game 1: Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. James Shields

Game 2: Josh Beckett vs. Scott Kazmir

Game 3: Jon Lester vs. Matt Garza

Game 4: Tim Wakefield vs. Andy Sonnanstine

With this setup, it is imperative that Dice-K give us at least six innings, because we are not quite sure if Beckett’s oblique can hold up. In a worst case scenario, he exits early in Game 2, so it is important that our bullpen is not used too much in Game 1. I think the Rays have the advantage for the first one, but I like Boston in Games 2 and 3 (pending Beckett’s health, of course). I’ll call the 4th matchup about even.

Once you get past resting our front three guys properly, this pretty much makes sense to me. You have to go with Wakefield over Paul Byrd, simply because of the catching situation. Taking Jason Varitek out of the game just to have Wake pitch a couple of innings is not a good move in the playoffs.

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