Red Sox-Phillies series could be October preview

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Long before spring training even started, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies were favorites to play each other in October.

Here comes an early taste.

Although the calendar says it's June and more than half the games remain, this week's Red Sox-Phillies series is being billed as a World Series preview.

The teams will open a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night with Cliff Lee (8-5) facing Josh Beckett (6-2). The Phillies have the best record in the majors at 49-30. The Red Sox, despite an awful start, are third-best at 45-32, just a half-game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.