AP Photo - Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, of Japan, winds up while pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs during a baseball game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Manchester, N.H. , Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009. Matsuzaka has been sidelined since June 21 with a right-shoulder strain.

The Boston Red Sox enjoyed a day off on Monday as they prepare to finish this homestand up with a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. If things finish up the way they are in the standings, this would be a preview of the American League Division Series.

While enjoying their day off, the Red Sox picked up a 1/2 game on the Texas Rangers who were shutout last night by the Oakland A’s. Their lead is now 4.5 games over the Rangers. The New York Yankees beat the Angels last night to pick up a 1/2 game on the Red Sox and now lead them by 7.5 games.

To me it’s all about the wild card right now. If winning the AL East happens, great. If not, let’s make sure we’ve got the wild card sewn up.

It could be a very interesting night on the mound for the Red Sox. Daisuke Matsuzaka returns to the rotation after spending 87 days in exile, aka the disabled list. From what we’ve heard, Matsuzaka is apparently in better shape than he was when placed on the disabled.

As always with Dice-K, we don’t know what we’re going to get. A return to Houdini Dice-K of 2008 would work just fine for me.

Boston’s Lester deserves to start Game 1 of ALDS [FOXSports.com]

Beckett and Lester a formidable duo [Yahoo! Sports]

Nothing Will Stop David Ortiz From Leading With His Heart [John Henry – NESN.com]

Few bumps in playoff road [Boston Globe]

Sox starters have unfinished business [Boston Globe]

As a leader, no one better than Wakefield [RedSox.com]

Dice-K’s back, but which version? [RedSox.com]

Playoff test drive for Angels in Boston [Boston Herald]

Jonathan Papelbon delivers on vow [Boston Herald]

’09 starts anew for Sox righty Daisuke Matsuzaka [Boston Herald]

Love Him Or Hate Him, Youkilis Belongs In A.L. Elite [Alex Speier – WEEI.com]

Red Sox Taking Aim at Prince Fielder This Offseason? [NESN.com]

Tuesday Quickie: Sox Have Pitched Well In Doubleheaders [Nuggetpalooza]

For more slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Providence Journal websites.

And if you must see what the enemy papers are saying you can check out the LA Times, Orange County Register and LA Daily News websites.