2012 Opening Day Red Sox Delight

Jon Lester (L), Justin Verlander (R)

The Boston Red Sox will open up the 2012 season this afternoon with the first game of a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, MI.

First pitch is scheduled for roughly 1:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast in the Red Sox television market on NESN. If you live in the Tigers broadcast area, you can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit. If you don’t live in either market you’re in luck as ESPN2 will have national coverage (excluding Red Sox & Tigers television markets) of the game. The game is also availble on ESPN3.com. If you can’t catch the television broadcast, you can always listen to it on the Red Sox radio network.

Jon Lester will make his second straight opening day start, this one for new skipper Bobby Valentine. Lester made 31 starts last year and was 15-9 with a 3.47 ERA. He did not face the Tigers in 2011. Lester has made three career starts against the Tigers and is 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA. His lone start at Comerica Park came on July 30, 2010 when he took the loss after allowing four runs in six innings of work.

The reigning AL Cy Young and AL MVP, Justin Verlander, makes his fifth straight opening day start for Jim Leyland. Verlander made 34 starts last year and was 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA. He made two starts against the Red Sox in 2011 and was 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA (3 ER/15.2 IP). Overall in his career, Verlander has made seven career starts against the Red Sox and is 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA.

Click on the read more button below to see today’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the overnight and day if you’re on the home page.

Here are today’s lineups:

Boston Red Sox0-0 Detroit Tigers0-0
1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF 1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B 2. Brennan Boesch RF
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B 3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
4. David Ortiz DH 4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Kevin Youkilis 3B 5. Delmon Young LF
6. Ryan Sweeney RF 6. Ryan Raburn DH
7. Cody Ross LF 7. Jhonny Peralta SS
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 8. Alex Avila C
9. Mike Aviles SS 9. Ramon Santiago 2B
Jon Lester SP Justin Verlander SP

And here is how the hitters have fared against today’s starting pitchers:

Boston Red Sox vs Detroit Tigers batter/pitcher matchups

REFRESH OR CHECK BACK OFTEN AS MORE LINKS WILL BE ADDED BEFORE GAMETIME IF/WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND WILL BE BOLDED

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Closing argument made for Padilla [Boston Globe]

Beckett doesn’t expect to be limited [Boston Globe]

Choice words [Boston Globe]

Sox fans hope for a team they can love [Boston Globe]

Lester happy to start season with clean slate [Boston Globe]

Reasons aplenty to expect no title for Red Sox [Boston Globe]

Red Sox would have been better off going with Bard [Boston Globe]

Alfredo Aceves to close deal [Boston Herald]

Bobby Valentine plays down NY chats [Boston Herald]

Jon Lester eyes a fast start [Boston Herald]

Raising hell with Sox bats [Boston Herald]

Josh Beckett thumbs a ride [Boston Herald]

First-timer’s club [Boston Herald]

Why Daniel Bard won’t close … for now [Boston Herald]

Red Sox hope sun rises again [Boston Herald]

Cherington: We haven’t promised Bard anything [Rob Bradford - WEEI.com]

Mark Melancon: ‘I would’ve liked that (closer) role’ [Clubhouse Insider]

Video: As Red Sox open season, questions, injuries abound [Clubhouse Insider]

Bard: Red Sox ‘didn’t even talk about’ making him Bailey replacement [Clubhouse Insider]

Lamoriello here to watch Devils, root on Bobby V [Clubhouse Insider]

Beckett: I’m fine; thumb problem was overblown [CSN New England]

Red Sox decide to go with 13 pitchers [CSN New England]

Countdown to Opening Day: Scouts evaluate Sox [CSN New England]

A.L. is more competitive than ever [CSN New England]

Ortiz: Valentine ‘did a great job’ in spring training [CSN New England]

Sox season begins under much uncertainty [CSN New England]

Edes, McDonald preview Sox opener [ESPN Boston]

Valentine on doing NY radio: ‘There aren’t any Boston fans in NY?’ [ESPN Boston]

Cherington: Beckett ‘feeling really good’ [ESPN Boston]

Crawford taking live BP, ‘progressing’ [ESPN Boston]

Notes: Dice-K gets closer to rehab stint [ESPN Boston]

Boston Red Sox’s Jon Lester aims for a fifth season of excellence [ESPN Boston]

Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington set to ‘sit back and watch’ [ESPN Boston]

Some Opening notes, quotes and gloats [ESPN Boston]

Video: Tito says Lester needs fast start [ESPN Boston]

Valentine meets with Tito before Sox opener [ESPN Boston]

It seems there are slightly high hopes for Theo Epstein in Chicago [Extra Bases]

Pre-game notes from Comerica Park [Extra Bases]

Minor league rosters set [Extra Bases]

Josh Beckett: Though thumb eventually may require surgery, ‘dumbfounded’ by concern [Full Count]

Experience not required: Alfredo Aceves ready to close for first time [Full Count]

Bobby Valentine radio controversy an absolute joke [Full Count]

Red Sox minor league notes: Ranaudo, Workman held back; Stroup suffers major injury [Full Count]

Transcending The Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry [Hartford Courant]

Red Sox Can’t Afford Another Rocky Start to Season, But Loaded April Slate Will Provide Challenge [NESN.com]

Alfredo Aceves’ Turn at Closer Can Be Key to Solidifying Red Sox Bullpen, Rotation in One Fell Swoop [NESN.com]

How Many Games Will the Red Sox Win This Season? [NESN.com]

Aaron Cook Continues to Work Down In Pawtucket, Feels Good About Shoulder, Opprotunity to Return to Big Leagues [NESN.com]

Lars Anderson Starts to Take Reps as Outfielder, Hopes to Use New Tools to Join Red Sox [NESN.com]

Ryan Lavarnway Anticipates Next Shot at the Majors, Reflects on His Time With Red Sox Last Season [NESN.com]

Jose Iglesias Excited to Return to Pawtucket, Gets Ready to Work to Make His Way to Red Sox [NESN.com]

Ben Cherington Knows Jose Iglesias Is ‘Phone Call Away’ If Needed, Believes in Bobby Valentine’s Methods [NESN.com]

Curt Schilling on Bobby Valentine’s New York Radio Contract: ‘Titanic Now in Open Water at Full Speed!’ [NESN.com]

A Series Matter: Red Sox-Tigers and Opening Day [Projo Sox Blog]

Bowden excited to finally make Opening Day roster [Projo Sox Blog]

Opening Day Dictionary! [Projo Sox Blog]

Will the Red Sox give fans their money’s worth? [Projo Sox Blog]

Opening Day lineup not full of surprises [Projo Sox Blog]

Thomas pumped for hometown Opening Day debut [Projo Sox Blog]

Good start crucial to put nightmare of 2011 to bed [Providence Journal]

Sox can wipe slate clean [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Aceves elated to be stepping into closer role [Providence Journal]

System’s top prospects to take the field at McCoy [Providence Journal]

Aceves to close if needed in Red Sox’s opener [RedSox.com]

Valentine, Lester eager to get season started [RedSox.com]

Red Sox aim to wipe slate clean in Detroit [RedSox.com]

25 Red Sox, 25 Questions: Predicting the performances of the ’12 team [Alex Speier- WEEI.com]

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Photo credits: Getty Images, AP Photo

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