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MLB Playoffs Red Sox at Indians

October 16, 2007

MLB Playoffs ALCS Game 4 - Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians 8:20 PM EST

Manny Ramirez of the Red SoxThe Boston Red Sox send Tim Wakefield to the mound to oppose Paul Byrd for the Cleveland Indians of game 4 of the American League Championship series tonight.

Boston is currently a -115 road favorite with a total of 10 at sportsbook.com for this crucial game 4.

Wakefield will make his first appearance of this postseason hoping to help his club draw even with the Cleveland Indians in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.

He was not on Boston's postseason roster for the division series against the Los Angeles Angels due to back problems. The reliable veteran went 17-12 with a 4.76 ERA in 31 starts this year, but hasn't pitched since Sept. 29.

The right-hander didn't face Cleveland this year, and he's 5-4 with a 4.82 ERA in 10 career starts at Jacobs Field. The 41-year-old Wakefield is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in four career LCS starts.

There will be pressure on Wakefield and the Red Sox, who will be on the brink of elimination with a third straight loss. The Indians got a well-pitched game from Jake Westbrook to win 4-2 on Monday and take their first lead of the series.

Three Cleveland relievers retired Boston's final seven batters on Monday, extending the bullpen's scoreless streak to 7 1-3 innings.

Lofton's two-run homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the second inning barely cleared the right-field wall, but it gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead and sent the crowd into a frenzy.

He has given the Indians a major boost. He's hit safely in six of seven playoff games, batting .345 (10-for-29) with six RBIs.

Cleveland improved to 3-0 at home in the postseason, partly by limiting Boston sluggers Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz to two hits in six at-bats and no runs scored. The duo combined to go 6-for-12 with seven runs in the first two games.

The Indians look for another solid outing from Paul Byrd (1-0, 3.60 ERA), who helped Cleveland clinch its division series against the New York Yankees. Byrd yielded two runs over five innings last Monday in a 6-4 win at Yankee Stadium.

This is the first time Byrd has pitched in the LCS since he went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two outings for the Angels in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox.

The veteran right-hander had a better record at home (8-4) than on the road (7-4) this year, but had the fourth-highest home ERA in the majors at 5.68.

Byrd is 4-2 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Red Sox. He beat them on May 30 by yielding two runs over six innings in an 8-4 victory at Fenway Park.

Ramirez, who is just 2-for-14 lifetime against Byrd, is 7-for-17 (.412) with three homers, 10 RBIs and 10 walks in the postseason.

Trends

Boston is 4-2 SU in the last 6 games. Cleveland is 5-0 SU in the last 5 games at home. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games when playing at home against the Red Sox. Cleveland is 6-2 SU in the last 8 games. Cleveland is 4-9 SU in the last 13 games when playing at home against Boston.

Check out the mlb baseball betting forum to view picks or post your own predictions for tonight's game.


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