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Lineup breakdown: Rays-Red Sox, Game 1

A look at today's starting lineups for Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Rays and the Red Sox:


Full Game Coverage

A look at today's starting lineups for Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Rays and the Red Sox:


Full Game Coverage

1. Desmond Jennings, CF -- If the Rays are going to improve on their .584 OPS in Fenway Park this season, it starts at the top of the lineup. Jennings can be a catalyst with his speed, and he's coming off a big game in the American League Wild Card Game, when his two-run double gave the Rays a cushion on their way to a 4-0 win over the Indians.

2. Ben Zobrist, 2B -- Zobrist can work the count and find his way on base as good as anyone in the AL, though he'll have to find a way to do it against Jon Lester, who has held Zobrist to a .188 average in 48 career at-bats.

3. Wil Myers, RF -- The 22-year-old has impressed in every category during his rookie season, and now he finds himself as the three-hitter on a playoff team. Myers' .831 OPS ranked second on the team. He's 2-for-3 with a home run against Lester.

4. Evan Longoria, 3B -- The leader of the Rays' lineup, Longoria comes in hot, having hit three homers in his last six games while posting a .400 average and 1.263 OPS. But he's hit just .236 off Lester.

5. Delmon Young, DH -- He was second in Rookie of the Year voting during his first full season with the Rays in 2007, and now he's back for another go after stopping in Minnesota, Detroit and Philadelphia. The former No. 1 Draft pick has hit .258 with a .780 OPS and three homers in 23 games with the Rays this season.

6. Sean Rodriguez, LF -- Manager Joe Maddon loves to employ Rodriguez against left-handed pitching. Rodriguez has played almost exclusively against left-handers this season while batting .252 with a .745 OPS.

7. Yunel Escobar, SS -- In his first season with the Rays, Escobar provided highlight-reel defense while showing an improved approach at the plate, boosting his on-base percentage from .300 to .332. But he's been slumping of late, with a .186 average and zero home runs over his last 24 games.

8. James Loney, 1B -- The Red Sox first baseman a year ago, Loney has rediscovered his stroke in Tampa Bay. He's hit .299 with a .778 OPS on the season while proving he can adequately handle lefties.

9. Jose Lobaton, C -- After 10 seasons in the Minors, Lobaton finally got his chance with the Rays, earning 311 plate appearances and putting up a .714 OPS this season. But he's 0-for-7 with three strikeouts against Lester.

Matt Moore, P -- The left-hander has been effective since returning from the 15-day disabled list on Sept. 3, going 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA, though he's been wild at times, having walked 20 batters over the last 29 innings.


1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF -- Ellsbury has played in just three games since missing three weeks with a compression fracture in his right foot, but he said his timing hasn't been lost and he proved it with a 2-for-5 performance that included a home run in the team's final game of the regular season. He's 0-for-6 off Moore.

2. Shane Victorino, RF -- Victorino was one of the hottest hitters in baseball over his last 32 games, when he hit .341 with a 1.015 OPS and eight home runs. He's 0-for-7 against Moore.

3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B -- Pedroia's power numbers were down slightly in 2013 as he's dealt with a thumb injury all season, but still raised his average from .290 to .301 while getting on base at a .372 clip. He's just 2-for-14 off Moore, making the top three Red Sox hitters a combined 2-for-27 off the Rays' Friday starter.

4. David Ortiz, DH -- Ortiz hit 30 homers for the first time in three years while driving in 103 runs primarily out of the cleanup start. And Ortiz is 6-for-13 off Moore.

5. Mike Napoli, 1B -- Napoli benefited from the Red Sox early clinching of the AL East title by taking a week off to rest his sore foot. He came back to go 4-for-11 over his final three games.

6. Jonny Gomes, LF -- A left-handed killer, Gomes has 10 doubles and eight homers in 161 at-bats against lefties this season, though he's just 2-for-12 off Moore.

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C -- In his first full year as a starting catcher, Saltalamacchia erupted with 40 doubles -- a team record for catchers -- and 14 homers while posting an .804 OPS.

8. Stephen Drew, SS -- After a slow start, Drew rewarded the Red Sox with a monster second half in which he hit eight homers with an .837 OPS. But he's struggled against lefties all season, hitting just .196 off them compared to a .284 average off righties.

9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B -- He couldn't hit in April, was sent to the Minors in May and returned in August with vengeance. Middlebrooks hit eight homers with an .805 OPS in 41 games since his promotion, though he's shown the ability to be streaky.

Jon Lester, P -- Lester bounced back from a 4.82 ERA in 2012 to post a 3.75 ERA in 2013. And he shined down the stretch, going 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in his final 10 starts.

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays