Can the Rays strike first in Boston?
When: 20:00 BST
Where: Fenway Park
Having defeated Cleveland in Wednesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, the Tampa Bay Rays now travel to Fenway Park to face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday.
The Rays have won two straight elimination games, but will prepare for arguably their toughest test yet when they face their rivals who have the best record in the AL.
Fenway Park will undoubtedly be packed ahead of its team’s playoff return, and this clash sets up an intriguing duel between Jon Lester and Matt Moore. However, outfielder Jonny Gomes is hoping that home advantage on Friday can play a key part in the result.
“Real excited,” Gomes said. “You look at 162 games and six months and it’s not even an appetizer for what is about to happen. Five hundred, 600-plus at-bats comes down to four in that first game. The atmosphere.
“We grinded, we battled, we worked hard for the home-field advantage. And we got that. I think this park in Fenway probably stands at the top of the board for what a home-field advantage means with the hostile environment, the big wall.”
The Red Sox have created a successful blend of veterans with play-off experience along with some talented veterans who have been given the task of further improving the roster and to this point they have succeeded.
However, it promises to be a thrilling encounter with the Rays, and we get underway with Game 1 at 20:00 BST on Friday night.