comparison between the Yankees and Red Sox. Who doesn't like to scout their archrivals? I asked the fans who they thought had the edge at each position for Boston.com, but below I provide my picks and analysis.
I give the edge to the Yankees, 10-4, comparing all the aspects.
1st base: Red Sox — Adrian Gonzalez hits for power and average. Plus, his glove isn't far behind Mark Teixeira's; it might even be better.
2nd base: Yankees — This rivals center field as the most talented position for both teams. But Robinson Cano's bat is superior to Dustin Pedroia's.
3rd base: Yankees — Both struggled with health last year, but there is no doubt that A-Rod's future looks less bleak than Kevin Youkilis's.
SS: Yankees — Derek Jeter has passed his prime, but he's still a .300 hitter and far better than Mike Aviles.
C: Red Sox — I love Russell Martin, but I like Jarod Saltalamacchia's potential and his fresher legs.
LF: Yankees — According to WAR, an advanced metric for player value, Brett Gardner was equal to Albert Pujols last season. Considering Carl Crawford's awful 2011, Gardner has to be the pick here if/until Crawford returns to his Tampa playing ways.
CF: Red Sox — Jacoby Ellsbury and Curtis Granderson posted amazing seasons for center fielders in 2011, but Ellsbury showed he could do it all with speed, hitting for average and power, and covering ground in center.
RF: Yankees — Nick Swisher is the man. Ryan Sweeney is no contest for the man.
DH: Red Sox — Big Papi vs. ... Raul Ibanez? David Ortiz can still mash.
Bench: Yankees — I'll take Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez over Nick Punto, Cody Ross and Jose Iglesias. But the Yankees aren't far and away the better pack.
Rotation: Yankees — In a three-game series, the edge probably goes to the Sox. But with the Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda acquisitions, the Red Sox just are not as deep as the Yankees.
Bullpen: Yankees — A healthy Rafael Soriano gives the Yankees the better the bullpen, as well as David Robertson and Boone Logan.
Closer: Yankees — Andrew Bailey ... Mariano Rivera. That is all.
Manager: Yankees — Bobby Valentine will be fun for the media, but that could also haunt him. He's a great baseball mind, but has to earn the respect of his players. Joe Girardi has done that already.