The Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers open the best-of-seven American League Championship Series on Saturday evening at Fenway Park. Left-hander Jon Lester will start for the Red Sox, and he'll be opposed by Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who led the AL in ERA during the regular season.
Lester, 29, enjoyed a bounce-back season after struggling through a career-worst 2012. He went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 213⅓ innings, and threw 7⅔ innings of two-run ball to beat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS. He won both of his regular-season starts against the Tigers in 2013, although he had to be bailed out by his offense in one of them after allowing home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks. This will be Lester's 10th postseason appearance, and eighth postseason start; he is 3-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 49⅔ career innings in the playoffs.
Sanchez, who is also 29 years old, led the AL with a 2.57 ERA and allowed only nine home runs in 182 regular-season innings. However, he fell apart in Game 3 of the ALDS, allowing three long balls to the Oakland Athletics; it was the first time he had allowed multiple home runs in a game since Sept. 9, 2012. Sanchez has not faced the Red Sox this season, and he is 1-3 in four career postseason starts with a 3.28 ERA in 24⅔ innings.
Game 1 is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.