Game day is finally here, but we've still got about 6 hours until first pitch (unfortunately, the game is on FOX, so we will have to wait until Sunday for Jenny Dell to come back into our lives). Today's game is certainly not a must win, but it is important for this team to avoid a bad start and avoiding an 0-2 start would be nice. Plus the schedule doesn't get any easier over the next two weeks. Here is a look at today's matchup. Let us know your line up and score predictions in the comments section.
Pitching Matchup: Beckett vs. Fister
Key Stats: At Comerica last year Fister was 4-1 with a 1.61 era and an opp. ave of .191
Sox may want to be aggressive on first pitch strikes as batters hit .374 against Fister's first pitch last year, but if he got ahead 0-1 opp. ave. dropped to .196
Beckett: He was 7-5 on the road last year with a 3.05 era which was .34 runs higher than at home, but in day games his era dropped to 2.27 in '11. His opp. ave was .181 in day games and .202 on the road which is better than his home numbers. Over the last three years his era at Comerica is 1.32 fourth lowest of any ballpark he has pitched in during that time. As long as his thumb is healthy, look for a quality start from Beckett today.
Here's my predicted lineup for today (it may look familiar)
Score Prediction: Look for the Sox to be aggressive on first pitch fastballs in the strike zone and I look for them to score a few runs in the first 3 innings. It is important for them to get out to an early lead today and continue to add on as the game progresses. Aceves gets his first save and the Sox win 7-4.