ALCS Game 7 Preview

It’s do-or-die for the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians tonight. Win, and you’re playing in the World Series against the Rockies. Lose, and it’s go back home and clean out those lockers.

Here’s what the scouting report tells us about tonight’s pitchers:

  • Cleveland Indians – they will send Game 3 ALCS winner, Jake Westbrook, to the mound.  In that game, Westbrook’s sinker was solid and he was delivering a variety of pitchers to fool the Red Sox. His predictability was his downfall in ALDS Game 3, but if he can control his pithes, deliver an effective sinker again, he should have a great game against the Red Sox. However, Westbrook is 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA in his career at Fenway Park, giving up 10 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings.
  • Boston Red Sox – The Game 3 ALCS loser hopes to rebound from a mediocre performance and lead his team to a third consecutive victory in the series to clinch the AL Pennant. In his Game 3 loss against the Indians, Matsuzaka gave up six hits and four runs over 4 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six, on a total of 101 pitches. Dice-K has been inconsistent in the regular season, as his record before the All-Star was 10-6 with a 3.84 ERA, but after the break, he went 5-6 with a 5.19 ERA.

In my previous post, I provided some statistics for Boston’s chances of winning the series. Namely, for a team that is leading the series 3-1, if that team is unable to clinch the series in games 5 or 6, they have a rough time winning game 7. In all postseason history, for a team that has led 3-1 in the series and Game 7 was forced, the team that has led 3-1 is 4-10 in Game 7. Given Fenway’s reputation, its fan base, and Boston’s momentum going into Game 7, Westbrook will have to bring his best to beat this resilient Boston team. Prediction: Dice-K prevails, and Boston wins Game 7 and goes to the World Series.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on October 21, 2007.

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