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Red Sox vs. Yankees lineup: Can Dustin Pedroia’s return help the Sox score for Chris Sale?

The lineup is basically at full strength for tonight’s showdown with the bad guys.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
He’s back.
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

It’s the most wonderful day of the week for the Red Sox, as Chris Sale takes the mound against the Yankees (7:10 p.m., NESN) for the first time since his 8 inning, 13-K performance last week against the Blue Jays... and Dustin Pedroia doesn’t want to miss it.

Pedey returns to game action for the first time since the slide heard ‘round the world, and hopefully his return to the lineup will spark an offense that’s scuffling, albeit mostly only against good pitchers. With that said, things aren’t too bad, and I’m not sure Pablo Sandoval’s continuing DL stint -- today he’ll be replaced by Marco Hernandez — is going to do much damage:

The Yankees counter with Masahiro Tanaka, who’s been lit up this year to the tune of a an even 6.00 ERA. As if you didn’t realize how silly pitcher wins and losses can be, this has led Tanaka to a 2-1 record, whereas Sale’s 0.91 ERA has only pushed him to 1-1. The Sox have a clear advantage tonight unless a vintage Tanaka shows up, which, given Boston’s recent luck, he will, but if not, maybe the Sox can finally put up some crooked numbers for their own ace.

Of note in the Yankees’ lineup is the presence of Chris Carter, who replaces the slumping Greg Bird at first base. Carter led the National League with 41 homers and 201 strikeouts last year and was scooped up by the Yankees for a song just before Spring Training. He’ll either whiff or hit it a mile. Tonight it’s probably the former, but that’s why they play the games. That and to make loads of cash, of course.

Here are the full lineups:

Game 21, April 27, 2017 vs. Yankees

   Yankees Red Sox
   Yankees Red Sox
1 Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2 Aaron Hicks, LF Andrew Benintendi, CF
3 Chase Headley, 3B Mookie Betts, RF
4 Matt Holliday, DH Hanley Ramirez, DH
5 Starlin Castro, 2B Mitch Moreland, 1B
6 Aaron Judge RF Xander Bogaerts, SS
7 Chris Carter, 1B Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
8 Austin Romine, C Sandy Leon, C
9 Ronald Torreyes, SS Marco Hernandez, 3B
SP Masahiro Tanaka, RHP Chris Sale, LHP