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Lewis-Price square off for Game 3 in Tampa
By: Nick Bracken - StatFox
Published: 10/3/2011  at  5:03:00 AM
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at TAMPA BAY RAYS (92-72)

ALDS Game 3 - Series Tied 1-1
First pitch: Monday, 5:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Tampa Bay -135, Texas +125, Total: 7.5

The Rays will look to regain control of the series when they head back to Tampa on Monday to play the visiting Rangers. Tampa Bay looked poised to take a commanding 2-0 series lead, but a big inning in Saturday’s Game 2 left the series tied at 1-1.

Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) will be on the mound Monday night for the Rangers. Lewis faced Tampa once this year and pitched a gem, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing only four hits, while striking out eight. On the hill for the Rays is the lefty David Price (12-13, 3.49 ERA) who has had his problems against Texas, going 0-5 with a 5.48 ERA in eight starts against the Rangers (including playoffs). And the Rangers are 34-12 (73.9%, +22.4 Units) this year against AL starters with a WHIP of 1.20 or better. The pick here is underdog TEXAS to win the all-important Game 3.

This rare four-star FoxSheets trend also sides with the Rangers.

Road teams (TEXAS) - having won 12 or more of their last 15 games, in October games. (42-17 since 1997.) (71.2%, +30.7 units. Rating = 4*).

Texas ended the regular season winning six in a row and 10 out of 11, and will try to harness the momentum towards another World Series appearance. Lewis hopes he can pitch as he did in last year’s postseason, when he went 3-0 with a tremendous 1.71 ERA in four starts. The big right-hander had an up-and-down year, but is coming off a solid performance on Tuesday when he threw six innings, allowing two runs on only three hits. In his past three starts against the Rays, Lewis has only allowed one run and 10 hits in 18 innings.

David Price had a rough September, going 0-2 with a 4.01 ERA in six starts and walking 16 batters in 33.2 innings during the month. The hard-throwing lefty will also have to forget about last year’s playoffs, when he lost a pair of games to Cliff Lee and ended with a 4.97 ERA in the two home starts. Price won 19 games a year ago and nearly was awarded the Cy Young Award and knows that it is his time to step up. The 1997 first overall pick may only be 25 years old, but has been exposed to the big stage many times with seven playoff appearances (five in relief).

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