As expected, there will be a familiar face on the mound when the Boston Red Sox open their division match-up with either the Indians or Rays on Friday.
Jon Lester to Start Game 1 of ALDS, Followed by John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy http://t.co/swSs1FMmwK
— NESN (@NESN) October 2, 2013
Jon Lester gets the call in Game 1, and while there was a consensus that he would be the choice, it was far from a lock. The left-hander has been the default #1 starter for much of the season, and with the opportunity to fully reset their rotation (thanks to the play-in and Wild Card playoff games), they chose to set Lester up for the ball in Game 1.
On the season, the 29-year-old Lester has thrown 213.1 innings of effective ball, posting a 3.75 ERA (3.59 FIP) in the grueling AL East, and striking out hitters at a solid clip of 7.47 per 9 innings. However, his numbers are appreciably better in the 2nd half of the year, where the left-hander has a sterling 2.57 ERA over 87.2 innings, and he has looked much more like his dominant self of past seasons.
In the end, the choice to go with John Lackey in Game 2 over guys like Buchholz and Peavy is probably more controversial, but Lester gets the ball in Game 1, and he’ll have the opportunity to set the tone for the #1-seeded Red Sox.