Here at The People's Phillies Blog, we are all about the Phillies. But that's by choice and not necessity. To (attempt to) prove this, every week we'll select a non-Phillies game and each of our analysts will pick the winner. We'll keep track of our records (and hope they don't get embarrassing), posting them with each week's edition. The winner will get a prize...maybe. (Really I just want to put that out there in the event that I win.)
Not surprisingly, this week's game is the season-opener: Yankees-Red Sox on Sunday night. Here's how we picked:
Yankees at Red Sox
C.C. Sabathia vs Josh Beckett
Great pitching match-up, but Sabathia gives the Yankees the edge. The Yankees have hit Beckett reasonably well, especially Robinson Cano, who has a 1.055 OPS against Beckett in 48 at-bats.
Sabathia had a lot of success against the Red Sox last year, while Beckett had mixed results against the Yankees. Neither of each team's big offensive addition (Curtis Granderson for the Yankees, Adrian Beltre for the Red Sox) have had great success against the opposing pitcher.
Going to have to go with Boston for this game. It's a battle of aces, but while C.C. Sabathia has always thrived most when overworked and pressured at the end of the season and into the playoffs, a big opener like this in front of a home crowd seems like it would be right up Josh Beckett's alley. Both teams have had some changes over the offseason, but going into real-game action, it seems likely that losses like Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon will be challenges the Yankees have to find ways to overcome, even with the addition of Curtis Granderson, while the Sox may be energized by some of their new pickups.