When the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox open play in the American League Division Series at 3:07 p.m. ET in Fenway Park on Friday, there will be no surprises in store for either side. After spending the last six months battling for AL East supremacy, few teams know each other as well as the Rays and BoSox do.
You have to go back five years to the 2008 ALCS to find the last time these division rivals met in the postseason, a series that went seven games and ended with David Price picking up the save in Game 7 for series MVP Matt Garza.
But that was then. Now, Garza is in Texas, Price is one of the game's premier starting pitchers and anything is possible in this five-game. Which team is going to come out on top?
To figure that out, we first need to look at the talent on both sides of the field and figure out which side has the advantage around the horn. We'll look at regular-season numbers, head-to-head numbers, past playoff performance and skill of the key players involved.
Let's take a look at how it all shakes out.
*Reserves are only mentioned if likely to make more than a cameo appearance in the series.