Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox 4:05 EST
James Shields (0-0, 0.00) vs. Josh Beckett (0-0, 0.00)
Rays Red Sox
2B Akinori Iwamura CF Jacoby Ellsbury
LF Carl Crawford 2B Dustin Pedroia
3B Evan Longoria DH David Ortiz
1B Carlos Pena 1B Kevin Youkilis
DH Pat Burrell RF J.D. Drew
CF Matt Joyce LF Jason Bay
C Dioner Navarro 3B Mike Lowell
RF Gabe Gross SS Jed Lowrie
SS Jason Bartlett C Jason Varitek
Lineup-wise, this matchup seems to favor the Sox. The middle of the orders (2-5) look about even, but overall, Boston's got more balance. Josh Beckett is dominant when he's on, and we think he's going to be this afternoon - it's the opener, emotions are high, yadda yadda yadda. 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 come on off the DL, that'd be great; hopefully Matt Joyce doesn't screw up too much in his stead.
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 GOTD Record: 1-1