Old rivals meet again.  This is really the rivalry though, not that silly Yankees-Mets thing.  Speaking of which, the Yanks come into the series with Boston in the Bronx tumbling down a hill, having lost four straight to the Mets.  Boston, meanwhile, comes off a series split with Phildelphia.  Here is a Boston-New York series preview.

Key to the series:  Yankee bats.  Mets pitching shut down the Yankee bats.  For this upcoming series, the woeful offense could turn around as New York gets some help with former Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis returning to the lineup and the return of Mark Teixeira.  This is a series where the Yanks have to have Robinson Cano and Teixeira perform at a high level.  No excuses.  Tex is 100% healthy and Cano is  the Yankees' best player.

Player to watch:  CC Sabathia.  The Yanks don't have an ace anymore and it is because of Sabathia's recent decline in velocity and stamina and his ability to finish off batters with two strikes.  Can he turn it around against Boston?  This is his biggest start of the year.

Pitching match-ups:  Friday:  Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34) vs. CC Sabathia (4-4, 3.96).  Saturday:  Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (2-3, 4.97).  Sunday:  Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.39).

Prediction:  Red Sox win two of three.  Boston is the better team right now, plain and simple.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.  

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