There are 8 games left in the 2009 regular season, and the Yankees and the Red Sox are on the brink of both making the postseason for the 8th time, and the 11th time in 15 years the AL Wild Card will come from the AL East.
The Red Sox are looking for a return to form for Dice-K Matsuzaka. After missing most of May, then all of July and August with injuries, the $102M import threw 6 innings of shutout ball against the Angels, but got roughed up by the Royals for 8 hits in 5.1IP. The conventional wisdom (ESPN) is that if Dice-K can be dominant in the post-season, he transforms the Sox into a juggernaut.
The Yankees are just looking for more of the same from CC Sabathia. He got an extra day off this week, and he'll get another next week as the Yanks lineup the rotation for the games that really matter. He needs to win every game he pitches to get to 20 wins- and that's the only way he has a shot at beating Zack Greinke for the Cy Young Award (see Bartolo Colon 2005).
Except for Melky in center instead of Gardner, Joe G is sending out the A lineup for the day game.
As Pete A noted, it's pretty incredible that the two teams have played each other to a stand-still this decade. Yankees 909 runs scored, the Red Sox 902. 95 Yankee wins against 83 for the Sox.
A win today means I have a chance to see the Yanks take the division tomorrow. Coupled with with a win for Texas, it would ensure that the Sox will not celebrate the Wild Card in New York.