Everything to know about BOS-NYY opener

April 8th, 2022

A new installment of ‘The Rivalry’ -- can you think of a better way to begin the regular season?

After a one-day postponement due to inclement weather, Gerrit Cole will take the mound against Nathan Eovaldi for Opening Day on Friday, when the Yankees host the Red Sox in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Yankee Stadium.

“There’s not a bigger stage, really, across Major League Baseball than Yankees-Red Sox on Opening Day,” said Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson, who will be making his debut in pinstripes. “I think that’s going to be exciting, and I know a lot of guys are anticipating the moment.”

Gates will open at 11 a.m. for the contest. This marks the first time since 2013 that the Red Sox and Yankees have met on Opening Day (that game also took place in the Bronx), and just the fourth time in the past 30 seasons (since 1993).

Actor and comedian Billy Crystal is scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch, with singer and actress Shoshana Bean performing the national anthem. Pregame ceremonies are set to begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET, with the introductions of both teams on the baselines.

“It’s going to be nuts,” said Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo. “Last year we were able to have our home opener in Boston, the first one for me. Now we’re going to go to New York and it’s going to be exciting. We know what the crowd is going to be like there. The atmosphere is going to be electric. The [fans] will be talking how they talk. It’s going to be fun.”

The Red Sox won 92 games last year, defeated the Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game and made it past the Rays in the AL Division Series before falling to the Astros in a six-game AL Championship Series. The Yanks also won 92 games, but because of a tiebreaker, their last nine innings were played at Fenway Park.

“I’ve been looking forward to this start for the last week or two,” said Eovaldi. “I’m definitely excited for it. To be able to open up against them on the road at their place, it’s going to be big for us to be able to go out there and set the tone.”

When is the game and how can I watch it?
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday and will be available on MLB Network and MLB.TV. The game will be televised on NESN and the YES Network. It can be heard on WFAN (660 AM, 101.9 FM) in the New York area and WEEI (97.3 FM) throughout New England.

The starting lineups
Red Sox:
With a power righty on the mound for the Yankees in Cole, the Red Sox go with their “A” lineup, featuring the recently acquired Trevor Story. From Story and Rafael Devers to J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, the Sox will again have one of the most potent lineups in the game. Having strong core players like Verdugo and Kiké Hernández also helps. If second-year first baseman Bobby Dalbec hits for the type of power he is capable of, Boston’s lineup could be scary.

Projected lineup

Yankees: It’s a new-look Bombers batting order, one that hopes to carry over the improved production it showed in the second half last season. A March trade with the Twins imported Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to shore up the left side of the infield, and Anthony Rizzo’s return offers a patient and balanced approach near the top of the lineup.


Who are the starting pitchers?
Red Sox: Eovaldi is no stranger to marquee matchups against Cole and the Yankees. They faced off in last season’s American League Wild Card Game, with Eovaldi coming out on top, holding the Yankees to one run over 5 1/3 innings in which he walked none and struck out eight. In 16 outings against New York since he joined Boston, Eovaldi has a 1.03 ERA (including the postseason). This is the third consecutive year Eovaldi has taken the ball on Opening Day for the Red Sox.

Yankees: Cole begins his third season in a Yankees uniform aiming to fulfill his stated objective of winning multiple World Series titles over the length of his contract. A hamstring injury hindered Cole’s effectiveness late last season, though he paced the American League with a 5.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio, fanning 243 batters against 41 walks in 181 1/3 innings. Cole also led the AL with 16 wins, pitching to a 3.23 ERA in 30 starts.

How might the bullpens line up after the starter?
Red Sox: This is where it gets interesting. Red Sox manager Alex Cora hasn’t named a set closer, and he may not. It was an uncomfortable Spring Training for the Red Sox bullpen, as some key pitchers lacked velocity and/or command. However, Garrett Whitlock is not included in that category of pitchers who struggled. He was stretched out as a starter and could give Cora as many as four or five innings in the opener behind Eovaldi. Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm are other pitchers Boston could use in the late innings. No. 25 prospect Kutter Crawford won a spot in the bullpen, but it’s more likely he’ll be used on days Whitlock isn’t available due to his ability to go multiple innings.

Yankees: The Yanks’ bullpen is largely set, though the pecking order to closer Aroldis Chapman could shift some -- and the club has even talked about using Chapman in higher-leverage eighth inning assignments on occasion. Jonathan Loáisiga, Chad Green, Clay Holmes, Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta and Michael King figure to serve in prominent roles, as does Miguel Castro, an early April pickup from the Mets.

Any injuries of note?
Red Sox: Ace Chris Sale suffered a stress fracture in his right rib cage while throwing during the lockout, and there is still no timetable for when he will be ready to start throwing. James Paxton, a former Yankee, is also on the mend as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The “Big Maple” would like to be back at some point in June. The Red Sox are without their top left-on-left reliever for Opening Day, as Josh Taylor is on the injured list with a back injury.

Yankees: It has been a remarkably healthy spring for the Yankees, who have been bitten by the injury bug plenty over the last couple of years. Right-hander Domingo Germán is on the 60-day injured list with a right shoulder issue, and catcher Ben Rortvedt missed a chance at making the Opening Day roster due to a right oblique strain. Left-hander Zack Britton is recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t be available until at least August.

Who’s hot and who’s not?
Red Sox: Devers has had a monster Spring Training, mashing six homers in his first 26 at-bats. Dalbec has also had a strong Grapefruit League season. And unlike last year, he thinks he will carry it into the regular season. Story got off to a slow start, which isn’t surprising given his late arrival at camp. Martinez is still looking to find his stroke.

Yankees: Kyle Higashioka paced the Majors with seven homers this spring, catching a hot streak in part due to advice gleaned from hours of conversations with Donaldson. Aaron Judge showed his extra-base power often, while Kiner-Falefa led the club with 13 hits. Joey Gallo had a rough spring, striking out 13 times in 30 at-bats.

Anything else fans might want to know?
• This is the first time the rivals have met in a season opener since 2013 when the Red Sox got their eventual World Series championship season off to a promising start, defeating the Yanks 8-2 in the Bronx. The starting pitchers for that game? Jon Lester for Boston and CC Sabathia for New York.

• In franchise history, the Yankees are 66-52-1 on Opening Day and 36-18-1 when the season opener is a home game. The Yankees enter Friday's contest with a 79-39-1 all-time record in home openers.