New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: Full Preview of the First Series at Fenway

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IApril 20, 2012

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: Full Preview of the First Series at Fenway

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    The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

    It's the greatest rivalry in all of sports, and the first series of this historic rivalry will begin on Friday afternoon.

    Going into their first showdown of 2012, the teams enter on different paths.

    The Yankees come in at 7-6 and have been playing decent baseball. They come off a split at home against the Minnesota Twins.

    The Red Sox, on the other hand, come in at 4-8 and are really struggling. They come off getting hammered by the American League champion Texas Rangers in their own building.

    Now it's time to take a look at the three-game series that will take place at Fenway Park.

Game 1: Friday, April 20, 2012

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    Game 1 at 3:15 p.m. ET

    Ivan Nova (2-0, 4.15 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (1-0, 9.82 ERA)


    It'll be a happy birthday celebration to Fenway Park, as it will be celebrating its 100th year with a big pregame ceremony prepared.

    The Yankees are sending Ivan Nova up to the mound, and he has been one of the Yankees' best starters so far in 2012.

    On the other side, the Red Sox are sending up Clay Buchholz, who has an uncommonly high ERA that's bordering the 10 mark entering the game.

    Buchholz is one of the better pitchers for the Red Sox, but he too has been hit around early so far.

    If the Yankees can jump on Buchholz early and Nova can get command of his pitches and not let the Boston hitters rattle him, the Yankees have a great shot of winning the opener.

    Prediction: Yankees 8, Red Sox 4

Game 2: Saturday, April 21, 2012

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    Game 2 at 4:05 p.m. ET

    Freddy Garcia (0-1, 6.97) vs. Felix Doubront (0-0, 5.40)


    The second game will be a featured game on FOX and could be one that might see a lot of runs scored.

    The Yankees desperately need a good start out of Freddy Garcia, who has yet to show the Yankees he can give them a quality outing.

    His spot in the rotation is in major jeopardy, and a good game against the Red Sox would ease some of the doubters in knowing that he can help.

    But Garcia in pinstripes hasn't had success against Boston.

    On the other side, the Yankees haven't seen too much of left-hander Felix Doubront.

    The 24-year-old rookie has yet to record a decision this season but has shown some promise for Boston, striking out 13 in two starts.

    I just don't like the Yankees' chances with Garcia on the mound in Fenway. I could see this one getting ugly very early.

    Prediction: Red Sox 10, Yankees 4

Game 3: Sunday, April 22, 2012

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    Game 3 at 8:05 p.m. ET

    CC Sabathia (1-0, 5.59 ERA) vs. Daniel Bard (0-2, 4.63 ERA)


    The final game of this three-game series will be the featured game of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. I will also be covering this game through Bleacher Report via live blog Sunday night.

    The Yankees ace has gotten off to a slow start but finally got it together against the Twins for his first victory of 2012.

    Sabathia has always been up and down against the Red Sox with a career 7-9 record and a 4.14 ERA in 20 starts.

    The Red Sox will be countering with reliever-turned-starter Daniel Bard.

    Bard became a starter for Boston with both Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey beginning the season on the disabled list.

    Bard has yet to notch his first win for the Red Sox as a starter but will be looking for his first one pitching on national TV.

    Bard has had both success and failure against the Yankees, with a 2-1 career record, a 4.13 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 innings, yet 12 runs and seven home runs allowed.

    In this battle, I like Sabathia to pitch well over Bard in the series finale.

    Prediction: Yankees 6, Red Sox 4

Yankees vs. Red Sox: The Rest of 2012

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    Here's the rest of the Yankees vs. Red Sox schedule for the 2012 regular season.

    July 6-8: at Fenway Park

    July 27-29: at Yankee Stadium

    August 17-19: at Yankee Stadium

    September 11-13: at Fenway Park

    October 1-3: at Yankee Stadium