The Boston Red Sox took care of their biggest rivals, the New York Yankees, in the American League Wild Card game. Their reward is now a five-game series against another division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays in one of two American League Division Series.
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- How to watch Dodgers vs Giants NLDS
After proving itself to be the most competitive division in the American League, the AL East has ensured itself that it will have one team vying for the pennant in the AL Championship Series. But which team it will be will play out on the field.
Here is what you need to know about the Red Sox vs Rays ALDS and how to watch it.
Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays ALDS schedule
Here is the full schedule for the Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays ALDS (* denotes if necessary):
Oct. 7: Boston Red Sox 0, Tampa Bay Rays 5
Oct. 8: Boston Red Sox 14, Tampa Bay Rays 6
Oct. 10: Tampa Bay Rays 4, Boston Red Sox 6
Oct. 11: Tampa Bay Rays 5, Boston Red Sox 6
Red Sox vs Rays matchup preview
The Boston Red Sox got the 2021 MLB playoffs underway with a 6-2 win over the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Oct. 5, with pitcher Nathan Eovaldi getting the start and the win, while Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo provided most of the offense needed and Fenway’s famous Green Monster actually helped out on defense.
But now the Sox must leave the familiarity of Fenway and travel down to Tampa Bay. Kicking things off on the mound for the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS will be Eduardo Rodriguez, who earned 13 wins for the team this year (13-8 overall record, 4.74 ERA). No other starters have been announced as of yet, though you’d imagine Chris Sale, who is 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA in nine starts since returning from injury, would get a chance in either Game 2 or Game 3.
Boston will also be adding one of their best bats into the lineup, as J.D. Martinez has been put on the team’s ALDS roster after missing the Wild Card game with an ankle injury.
As for Tampa Bay, while the Red Sox, Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays were fighting it out for the Wild Card spots, the Rays posted an AL-best 100-62 record, eight clear of the Red Sox. They are also rested, having not played since Sunday, Oct. 3. Though it is always a question of what is better — rest or the momentum a Wild Card game win can give you.
The Rays have already announced that Shane McClanahan (10-6, 3.43 ERA) will be their Game 1 starting pitcher and Shane Baz (2-0, 2.03 ERA in three starts) will be on the bump for Game 2. The Rays starting pitchers haven’t been spectacular this season, but they have a deep bullpen that should prove valuable when called upon.
Perhaps what is most intriguing about the Rays is that they are having this kind of success as such a young team. Rookies Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena are key pieces at the plate and in the field, while McClanahan and Baz are both early in their careers. Will youth carry them or will inexperience be their downfall?
Heading into the series, the Rays are favored.
How to watch Red Sox vs Rays in the U.S.
The Red Sox vs Rays series will be split between Fox Sports 1 and the MLB Network, with Games 1 and 2 airing on FS1 and Game 3 on MLB Network (networks for Game 4 and Game 5 will be announced if/when we know those games will be needed).
FS1 is the cable sports arm owned by Fox and will handle the majority of the network’s AL playoff schedule prior to the World Series. The channel is available on most pay-TV subscription packages (just double check to make sure it’s on yours) as well as live streaming services (available on Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV). There is also an FS1 app that viewers can watch the games on.
The MLB Network is a bit more of a specialty play for sports-lovers, but you can still access it through many pay-TV services, as well as Fubo TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. You can stream MLB Network’s coverage through different devices besides your TV, but you will need to be a subscriber to a pay-TV or live TV streaming service.
How to watch Red Sox vs Rays in the U.K.
Even though baseball is America’s pastime, any fans of the game over in the U.K. can still tune in for playoff and World Series action. BT Sport will broadcast the games to its subscribers through its ESPN subchannel.
You will need to be a BT Sports subscriber to watch the network’s coverage of the MLB playoffs. A monthly subscription is available at £25.
How to watch White Sox vs Astros from anywhere in the world
You don’t have to be in the U.S. (or even the U.K.) to watch the 2021 MLB playoffs from first pitch to the last out. MLB has shared all of the international broadcasters covering the games, but if you’ve cut the cord entirely and none of these options are immediately available to you, there’s still the option of a VPN, or virtual private network.
A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.