April 4, 2010

Yankees-Red Sox series preview: Why history won’t repeat itself

The last time the Yankees and Red Sox met on Opening Day, the world was upside down. The Red Sox snapped an 86-year drought of winning it all the year before, and were facing a pack of hungry Yankees and fans at the old Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees won 9-2 behind Randy Johnson’s gem in his Yankee debut.

Now it’s the Yankees that are coming off a World Series victory and entering a ticked off Fenway Park. Expect plenty of boos and angered fans tonight. This one could get ugly early.

I like how both teams are extremely healthy to open the season. Daisuke Matsuzaka will open the year on the 15-day DL, but that’s about it for both teams.

Who isn’t excited for tonight? For me, every rivalry game is a blast to watch. But in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter what happens tonight? Opening Day could actually be argued to be the most meaningless game of the season because there are the most number of games remaining in the season.

Here’s a series preview:

Game 1: CC Sabathia vs. Josh Beckett (tonight, 8 p.m.)
I tend to favor the home team in games like this. Like I said earlier, the Yankees are really in for it tonight. I’m betting on David Ortiz hitting a ball over the Monster tonight off CC. The big lefty didn’t make it out of the fifth inning last year against the Orioles on Opening Day. Meanwhile, Beckett owned the Rays in his Opening Day start last year.

Game 2: A.J. Burnett vs. Jon Lester (Tuesday, 7 p.m.)
I’ll be at the game, so it’s an automatic win, right? Well, I’ve only been to Fenway once before, and that was to see the Yankees crush the Red Sox 9-1. But those were the days of Nomar Garciaparra and Hideki Irabu. I’ve heard a lot of fans — Yankees and Red Sox — pick Lester for their preseason Cy Young Award winner. Let’s just say I’m not about to put $100 against that. I’m hoping for a close game or a Yankee blowout. If it’s the latter, I might not make it back to Quinnipiac in one piece knowing Red Sox fans.

Game 3: Andy Pettitte vs. John Lackey (Wednesday, 7 p.m.)
I say the Yankees take this one despite Lackey’s great history against the Yankees. Lackey will have all the pressure on him, while Pettitte will be cool as ice.

Players to Watch:
Yankees: Alex Rodriguez. He missed all of April last year, and I think he misses it. Historically, April is his highest monthly OPS besides August.
Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis. He just scares me, especially at home.

Red Sox win the battle tonight, but lose the war in Games 2 and 3.

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