4/6/09

Game of the Day: 4/06/09

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

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!

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