OK, anyone not expecting this match-up between Boston and Cleveland to go less than six or seven games is nuts. These teams are both great, have solid line-ups, and great pitching. Since I have not seen Jim Baker do his Playoff Prospectus on the ALCS yet, I guess we go to the he-to-head match-ups:

Boston: Jason Varitek
Cleveland: Victor Martinez
OK, this is a no-brainer, even if you factor in all the Varitek intangibles (after the Yankees-Indians tilt, I am starting to think that intangibles is a synonym for grounding into a double-play in a critical situation, right Captain Clutch in Pinstripes?) Victor Martinez rakes at the plate whereas a Varitek season is equal to a bad year by J.D. Drew (not that anyone would boo the over-paid Captain like they boo J.D.).
EDGE: Cleveland

First Base:
Cleveland: some guy named Garko
Ryan Garko may not be quite the leather-man like the Greek/Jewish God of Walks, but he one of those surprising power guys on the Indians. If Youk was the Youk of June, Boston would have the edge.

Second Base:
Boston: Dustin Pedroia
Cleveland: Asdrubal Cabrera
OK, Asdrubal, is that or is it not some potion from Professor Snape in an early Harry Potter book? Beyond points for the great name, Cabrera has done a very good job at second base for the Indians. As great as Pedroia has been this season, it is only a seven game set. But remember, Pedroia had a VORP greater than Manny this season!
EDGE: Boston

Third Base:
Boston: Mike Lowell
Cleveland: Casey Blake
Before everyone goes off half-cocked, compare the numbers between Lowell and Blake. Oh, OK, forget it.
EDGE: Boston

Boston: Julio Lugo
Cleveland: Jhonny Peralta
Seriously, is that a typo on the birth certificate? I like saying it: Jah-Hon-nee! (with the emphasis on the JAH). Peralta is a good fielder with very good hitting skills (having bounced back like we all expect Lugo to do next season). Lugo is the model Replacement Player for shortstops this season when stat-heads go on about VORP (Value-Over-Replacement-Player).
EDGE Cleveland

Left Field:
Boston: Manny
Cleveland: Kenny Lofton
Sure, Lofton killed the Yankees, but remember what happened to him the last time the Sox and Indians faced-off in the playoffs? (Kenny will ever forget)
EDGE: Boston

Center Field:
Boston: Coco Crisp
Cleveland: Grady Sizemore
See, there was a reason that the Indians wanted to unload Coco.
EDGE: Cleveland

Right Field:
Boston: J.D. Drew
Cleveland: Franklin Gutierrez
I was talking about Franklin Gutierrez the other day and I think the person though I was talking about Roosevelt Franklin, the purple muppet kid who inexplicably disappeared from Sesame Street over the 20 years from when I watched the show until my kids watched it. Seriously, is he locked in the basement of Hot Topic being tortured like the cartoon characters on Drawn Together the other night?
EDGE: Boston

Designated Hitter:
Boston: Big Papi
Cleveland: Pronk
OK, first off, bring in Orsillo because at least he does not call Ortizzle “Big Poppy” like he was a gigantic flower. Still need to get a Pronk Chocolate Crunch off eBay one of these days. If Pronk keeps looking like 2006 version, this could be even. Of course, if I weighed as much as I did in high school, I would be back in 32 waist pants.
EDGE: Boston

Starter #1:
Boston: Josh Beckett
Cleveland: C.C. Sabathia
I think my wife has officially shamed each and every person she knows who ragged on Beckett last season. That said, the big C.C. (sorry C.C. Deville) we saw in game one versus the Yankees looked nothing like the one who stoned the Sox in June. In fact, he must have been an optical illusion, or else he had some bad shrimp (30 or 40 pounds worth from the look of him) that night
EDGE: Even

Starter #2:
Boston: Curt Schilling
Cleveland: Fausto Carmona
Carmona is the da bomb. Nuff said.
EDGE: Cleveland

Starter #3:
Boston: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Cleveland: Jake Westbrook
Check the VORP, Baby. All Daisuke; All the time. Seriously, what is all the hating on Daisuke. 37 VORP to 21 VORP. Chalk up that game three win on the road.
EDGE: Boston

Starter #4:
Boston: Tim Wakefield
Cleveland: Paul Byrd
This is the 13-11 game. Ughh.
EDGE: Even

Middle Relief:
Boston: Mix and matches (Manny Delcarmen, Mike Timlin, et al)
Cleveland: A cast of nobodies (Aaron Fulz, Jensen Lewis)
Middle Relief? Am I serious? Who cares?
EDGE: Even

Set-up Men:
Boston: Hideki Okajima, Eric Gagne
Cleveland: Rafael & Rafael (Perez & Betancourt)
I am sorry, but the Rafaels are NASTY.
EDGE: Cleveland

Boston: Jonathan Papelbon
Cleveland: Joe Borowski
Borowski may have saved me 40+ games for my fantasy team, but this is not even a question.
EDGE: Boston

Manager & Coaches:
Boston: Terry Francona
Cleveland: Eric Wedge
Listen, Francona is a good manager. He has good coaches. Eric Wedge is a good manager. He has good coaches.
EDGE: Even

BONUS CATEGORY: Best Hall of Fame:
Boston: Umm, hold on, I am trying to think of one
Cleveland: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Even though KISS was inducted, I guess it is pretty one-sided.
EDGE: Cleveland

BONUS CATEGORY: Best City Theme Song:
Boston: Shipping Out to Boston - Dropkick Murphys
Cleveland: Cleveland Rocks - Theme song from the Drew Carey TV Show
I know, I know, I know: it is a great song. But my four year old daughter never walked around the house singing it about the cat (Mimit is shipping out to Boston, Whoa-oh-oh) and I never heard it as the theme song on the Discovery Channel (Lobster Wars).
EDGE: Boston

Boston: 8
Cleveland: 6
Even: 5
What does this show us? These teams are closely matched, and any injury, freak weather, bloops, etc can swing this series. It will likely go six or seven games, but I think that the Red Sox have a better ninth inning game-ender and a bit more power in the line-up. Sox in six (or maybe seven). It will be a classic series.