The Sox have set their rotation for the ALCS, which starts tomorrow evening. They will begin with Daisuke Matsuzaka followed by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. Presumably Francona made this decision because he wants Beckett to start a potential game seven. That's not a bad idea, I suppose, given his well known playoff track record. But in my opinion, you have to throw history out the window. Lester has been the ace this season. I think you have to set him up to go in game seven if necessary.
All three starters have good stats against the Rays. They have a combined 6-1 record and each has an ERA of 3.00 or less. Lester is 3-0 with a minuscule 0.90 ERA, another reason perhaps you would want him to start game seven. I know he's young, but he was money in the playoffs last season and pitched brilliantly in the World Series clincher.
Tim Wakefield will pitch game four. His stats against Tampa are much less impressive than the other pitchers I've mentioned; 0-2, 5.87 ERA. Wakefield has always been a streaky pitcher. He can look like a Hall of Famer then ready for retirement in back-to-back starts. Francona should have a short leash on him and have Paul Byrd ready to go if Wakefield's knuckle ball ain't dancing.