6:07 PM ET, October 7, 2013
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Boston: Buchholz (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Tampa Bay: Cobb (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is feeling more confident about his team’s chances of bouncing back versus the Boston Red Sox.
YouWager bettors know that it won’t be easy overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-5 AL division series matchup that resumes tonight at Tropicana Field. However to have any chance of succeeding, the Tampa Bays tar said players can’t dwell on being on the brink of elimination yet again.
The Rays had to win three consecutive elimination games just to get into the division series. And now, it will take three more to beat Bostonand reach the league championship series versus the Oakland Athletics or the Detroit Tigers.
Alex Cobb, who beat the Cleveland Indians last Wednesday in the AL wild-card game, will be starting tonight in Game 3.
Clay Buchholz will start for Boston, who outscored the Rays 19-6 in the opening two games at Fenway Park.
The Rays were able to force a Game 5 after dropping the first two in the 2010 division series, but the Texas Rangers went on to play for the pennant. The Red Sox have won 14 of 21 games in 2013 between the AL East rivals.
Tampa Bay won their regular season finale versus the Toronto Blue Jays, forcing a one-game tiebreaker at Texas to determine the second AL wild card. The Rays beat the Rangers to reach the playoffs, then Cobb shut down Cleveland 4-0 in the wild-card game.
In 2013 the 25 year-old Cobb went 11-3 with a 2.25 ERA in his first full season in the majors, including 7-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts at home.
There are plenty of reasons for the Boston to feel comfortable with their starting pitcher as well.
The right-hander has beaten the Rays twice this season, allowing five hits in 13 scoreless innings. Buchholz has a career 2.41 ERA in 16 starts versus Tampa Bay, including 2.26 in nine starts at Tropicana Field.