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Red Sox vs. Rays Game 3 lineups: In Nate We Trust

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Would you want it any other way?

Wild Card Round - New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox can take a 2-1 ALDC lead over the mighty Rays this afternoon at Fenway Park behind Nathan Eovaldi (4:07 p.m. MLB Network).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the offense was going to have to lift the Sox through the playoffs, and did it ever in a wild Game 2. Chris Sale was tagged for five runs in a nightmare first inning, but Tanner Houck steadied the ship in spectacular fashion as the team waited for reinforcements to arrive.

Then, finally, the team exploded. Kiké Hernández was 5-5 with a home run. J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogearts, Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers all went deep. The final score was a laugher: 14-6, but that was then and this is now.

Now this year’s steadiest hero, Nathan Eovaldi, takes the mound for his first appearance since his electric turn in the Wild Card game. He has come up big when it has mattered, and it’s wonderful. If he can continue it today, the Sox can take control of a series they were in danger of missing not two weeks ago.

Tampa Bay will start Drew Rasmussen, a reliever-turned-starter who held buoy the Rays through the end of the long season. The lineup, as you might expect, is largely unchanged, with Kevin Plawecki getting the start behind the dish. On Tampa Bay’s side, Ji-Man Choi makes the start at first base with a righty on the mound. It’s gonna be pandemonium at Fenway. Soak it in. This is their chance, which means this is our chance.

Go Sox.

ALDC Game Three vs. Rays

Lineup spot Rays Red Sox
Lineup spot Rays Red Sox
1 Brandon Lowe, 2B Kyle Schwarber, 1B
2 Wander Franco, SS Kiké Hernández, CF
3 Austin Meadows, LF Rafael Devers, 3B
4 Nelson Cruz, DH Xander Bogaerts, SS
5 Ji-Man Choi, 1B Alex Verdugo, LF
6 Randy Arozarena, RF J.D. Martinez, DH
7 Kevin Kiermaier, CF Hunter Renfroe, RF
8 Mike Zunino, C Kevin Plawecki, C
9 Joey Wendle, 3B Christian Arroyo, 2B
SP Drew Rasmussen, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP