By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
April 6 2015, 2:30 PM EST.
The Phillies and Red Sox are both coming off last-place finishes last year, but the two clubs enter 2015 with vastly different expectations.
The Red Sox went out and spent $95 million to sign Pablo Sandoval and $88 million for Hanley Ramirez to bolster an offense that ranked statistically as one of the worst in the American League. The team also acquired Rick Porcello and Wade Miley to stabilize the starting rotation.
Thanks in part to their roster additions, the Red Sox are heavily favored to win their division and reach the postseason.
The Phillies, on the other hand, are coming off back-to-back 89 loss seasons and are in the midst of rebuilding. The club opened spring training winning eight of its first 13 contests, but sputtered to win just six of their final 20.
One of the Phillies' bright spots this spring has been the emergence of Odubel Herrera. The 23-year-old was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft last December and today will become just the second Phillies' rookie since 1970 to be in an Opening Day startling lineup. He hit .343 in 21 games during spring training and led the team with seven stolen bases.
Today's Pitching Matchup: Cole Hamels (9-9, 2.46) vs. Clay Bucholz (8-11, 5.34). Hamels has lost each of his last four season debuts and is overall 1-6 with a 4.91 ERA in nine career games to open a season.
PHI Lineup: Revere 7, Herrera 8, Utley 4, Howard 3, Ruiz 2, Sizemore 9, Asche 5, Galvis 6, Hamels 1.
BOS Lineup: Betts 8, Pedroia 4, Ortiz 3, Ramirez, H. 7, Sandoval 5, Victorino 9, Bogaerts 6, Hanigan 2, Bucholz 1.
Phillies Notes: Sixteen players on the Phillies' 2015 Opening Day roster were not on last year's initial 25-man roster ... On Saturday night the club announced the signing of RHP Dustin McGowan. The 33-year-old had a 4.17 ERA with a 61/33 K/BB ratio over eight starts and 45 relief appearances for the Blue Jays last season. He was cut by the Dodgers last week after allowing six runs over eight innings during the spring. He will pitch out of the bullpen with the Phillies.
Weather Forecast: 71-degrees and sunny, southwest winds at 14 mph.
Today's Vegas Odds: Phillies -103.
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