Game 1: Red Sox (Matt Clement, 13-6, 4.57 ERA) at White Sox (Jose Contreras, 15-7, 3.61), 4:09 today (ESPN).

Game 2: Red Sox (David Wells, 15-7, 4.45) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 16-8, 3.12), 7:09 p.m. tomorrow (ESPN).

Game 3: White Sox (Freddy Garcia, 14-8, 3.87) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 16-12, 4.15), 4:19 p.m. Friday (ESPN2).

Game 4*: White Sox (Jon Garland, 18-10, 3.50)

at Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 8-8, 5.69), Saturday, TBA.

Game 5*: Red Sox at White Sox, Sunday, TBA. All eyes will be on: Chicago's starting four of Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia and Jon Garland. All won at least 14 games and had ERAs under 4.00. Boston has David Ortiz, left, and playoff savvy. Chicago has four pitchers who can shut a team down for eight innings.

All eyes should be on: Chicago's Scott Podsednik, who has 59 stolen bases this year. The White Sox seem to thrive when he gets on base. Third baseman Joe Crede is quietly the team's best clutch hitter; watch him late in games in key situations. Boston's Mike Timlin has saved a shaky closer situation with 13 saves in 20 chances, and the Red Sox need him to be on.

Key stat: The Red Sox have scored 910 runs -- a run a game more than Chicago. The White Sox are 61-33 in games decided by two runs or less.

Fearless prediction: White Sox in five.

-- Les Carpenter