At the conclusion of the series, the familiar foes will have played each other at least 22 times in 2013 (not including six times in spring training). The Rays went 7-12 against the Red Sox this season, their first season series loss to Boston since 2007.
The Red Sox may own the season series, but the Rays have been making themselves at home in Fenway Park recently.
The Rays are 4-1 in their last five games at Fenway Park, including Matt Moore’s complete game shutout on July 22.
This will be the second meeting of the teams in the postseason. The Rays defeated the Red Sox 4-2 in the 2008 ALCS to advance to their only World Series.
The Rays are on a very hot streak, winning 15 of their last 20 games dating back to September 12. They are looking to continue that success in the postseason.
Winning Game 1 dramatically increases the odds of winning the series.
Game 1 winners in Division Series have won 50 of 72 series (69 pct). In all best-of-5's, Game 1 winners won 75 of 108 series (69 pct) #elias— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 4, 2013
Here are three keys to victory for the Rays to beat the Red Sox in Game 1.
All statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com unless otherwise noted.