Tonight is the first match-up between the rival Red Sox and Yankees in the 2014 season. Here's a the first of four position by position breakdowns between the two clubs.
Catcher - Brian McCann was the premiere free agent catcher this past offseason and was a big signing for the Yankees. So far he's been a disappointment with just a .328 OPS (-7 OPS+ - YIKES!). McCann will eventually hit but this start may be a preview of what the end of his contract may look like. In Boston AJ Pierzynski was signed to replace Jarrod Saltalamachia and AJ has gotten flack on talk radio for his lack of plate discipline. Yet even though Salty has a decent .827 OPS to start the season (to AJ's .720 OPS) but it's Salty with 13 K's who may be the one with plate discipline issues. Even with his slow start knowing McCann can break out at any time - I'm going to call this a draw.
First - This was supposed to be Mark Teixeira vs Mike Napoli but Teixeira is hurt (again). Now it's Napoli (.942 OPS) vs Kelly Johnson (1.037 OPS) - who do you think can maintain that level of hitting? Edge Red Sox.
Second - It used to be Dustin Pedroia vs Robinson Cano and now it's Pedroia vs Brian Roberts. Edge Red Sox.
Shortstop - Hall of Famer to be Derek Jeter is on his farewell tour. The Red Sox counter with Xander Bogaerts who is ranked by most as the second best prospect in baseball. I'm going to call this a draw out of respect to Jeter's accomplishments but in reality I think even Yankee fans would admit they would rather have the Xander-man (in your head did you hear John Sterling when you read that?).