Update: Well, don't we look like fools. We'll re-run this tonight or something.
It's time for the real Opening Day festivities to begin. There's a bunch of games that we'd like to see, mostly because it's Opening Day and the pitching matchups are pretty solid. Johan vs. Harang in Cincy, Kuroda vs. soon-to-be-former Padre picher Peavy, Big Z against the Big O in Houston, Verlander and Doc Halladay in Toronto...these have the makings of good games, in our eyes. Plus, there's CC's Yankee debut, if you're into that sort of thing. But we, in a SHOCKING UPSET, are choosing Rays-Red Sox as the game of the day. It's an intense divisional battle, a rematch of the AL Championship, a compelling juxtaposition between the old guard and the new order...however you wanna put it is fine by us. We're just happy to get such a fine game.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox 2:05 EST
James Shields (0-0, 0.00) vs. Josh Beckett (0-0, 0.00)
Rays Red Sox
LF Carl Crawford CF Jacoby Ellsbury
CF B.J. Upton 2B Dustin Pedroia
3B Evan Longoria DH David Ortiz
1B Carlos Pena LF Jason Bay
DH Pat Burrell 1B Kevin Youkilis
RF Gabe Gross RF J.D. Drew
2B Akinori Iwamura 3B Mike Lowell
C Dioner Navarro C Jason Varitek
SS Jason Bartlett SS Julio Lugo
We use Baseball Prospectus' Depth Chart features to present the projected lineups, so they could be wrong, but we're rather surprised that Julio Lugo won the starting SS job. Jed Lowrie seems like a much better choice to us. But, again, there's probably a (few) good reason(s) why we're not paid to run front offices. Anyway, we like the Rays 1-3 and 8-9 hitters better than what the Red Sox offer, while the edge from 4-7 goes to the Boston crew. Josh Beckett is dominant when he's on, and we think he's going to be this afternoon. We would like for B.J. Upton to get off to a good start on making us look like geniuses with his inevitable MVP bid, so if he could knock a couple of tater tots in what we think will be a losing effort, we'd be just thrilled.
Player to watch: Depends on your personality. If you're into schadenfreude, watch Jason Varitek. It's sort of fascinating in a sad way to see what happens when an athlete hangs on far too long. We'll be interested to see if he has anything approaching capable bat speed at this point. We'd be more surprised if he hit .250 than if he hit .190. If it's good performances that are your thing, than turn your eye to the pitching mound. If Josh Beckett is in postseason form, this should be a hotly contested pitchers' duel that is great fun to watch.
KCSD Record in GOTDs: 0-1. Good start, gentlemen!