Red Sox Vs. Yankees Lineups: Opening Day at last

USA TODAY Sports

Opening day is here at last, and the first lineups of the season are in.

Opening Day is finally, finally here, bringing with it the first lineup of the new season. Behold, the 2013 Red Sox in all their (injury-diminished) glory!

Boston Red Sox (0-0)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Jonny Gomes, DH
  8. Jackie Bradley Jr., LF
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Starting Pitcher -- Jon Lester

John Farrell is likely making an Opening Day compromise by including Jarrod Saltalamacchia against a tough lefty like CC Sabathia. It's not an optimal lineup--having David Ross there would likely be better both for Lester on the mound and the Sox at the plate--but it's also not necessarily something to get up in arms over. It's Opening Day, and Farrell has a young starting catcher who might be feeling a bit undercut by the arrival of David Ross. Giving him the nod for game one is a small enough concession to ego management.

Otherwise, this is pretty much what you'd expect. Sure, Ciriaco could maybe hit against the lefty, but that's an even smaller loss for the Sox. Shane Victorino moves up to the second spot in the order as Farrell suggested he would, with Jackie Bradley Jr. batting eighth in his major league debut. Chances are those two will swap spots against right-handed pitchers if Bradley manages to keep some of his momentum going from spring training.

Meanwhile, Jon Lester gets the nod on the mound, as we've known he would. It's been a great month for Lester, but March statistics can fly out the window in a hurry with the arrival of Opening Day.

Luckily, Lester is getting a surprisingly easy start to the season, facing off against this New York lineup:

New York Yankees (0-0)

  1. Brett Gardner CF
  2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  5. Vernon Wells, LF
  6. Ben Francisco, DH
  7. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  8. Jayson Nix, 3B
  9. Francisco Cervelli, C

Starting Pitcher -- CC Sabathia

Yikes! Robinson Cano is Robinson Cano, of course, and Brett Gardner can get on base, but what happened, New York? Kevin Youkilis would've been a fine cleanup hitter a few years back, but he'll have to prove himself again to earn that sort of respect from most teams. And then there's Vernon Wells batting fifth. Vernon Wells!

The bad news is that everyone who shows up to Yankee Stadium is given a free gift of either Babe Ruth's abilities at the plate, or a Derek Jeter bobblehead. Hopefully Wells and co. like their commemorative gewgaws.

First pitch is at 1:05. I know it's a Monday, but find some way to get yourself in front of a television (or even into a seat in New York) if you can. It's Opening Day, and Red Sox baseball is back!

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