Evening Shade: Yanks and Red Sox provide draft alternative

Most weekday evenings, Big League Stew looks at five approaching games worth monitoring. As they occur, feel free to discuss the night's happenings with other Stewies in the comment section below.

Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 ET If you can't even stand watching downtrodden franchises get their moment for even one night, fret not: New York and Boston kick off their third series of the season tonight at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are 5-0 against the 'Stripes this season, but the Yankees own a one-game lead in the AL East pennant race. Believe it or not (and given the Rays last season, you should), this is the first time since April 2008 that the division lead has been on the line. A.J. Burnett(notes) and Josh Beckett(notes) get the nods.

Twins at A's, 10:05 Hey, look! Oakland has won seven straight games and goes for No. 8 at home against the flagging-on-the-road Twins. The A's pitching staff has been phenomenal over this stretch, posting a 1.43 ERA, while the offense has outscored the opposition, 42-11.

Phillies at Mets, 7:10 ET As if facing Johan Santana(notes) in tonight's opener weren't bad news enough for the Phillies — he's 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in six starts against Philly — they just got news that they'll be without Brad Lidge(notes), who's on the DL with a sprained knee. (And, yeah, I'm sure that there's some wise acre out there saying that Philadelphia is better off without Lidge pitching hurt — and they're right — but still, you know what I'm talking about.)

Cardinals at Marlins, 7:10 If anyone can stop St. Louis from sliding, it's this guy.

Tigers at White Sox, 8:11 The two teams continue their five-game, four-day series after splitting a doubleheader on Monday. Mark Buerhle takes the mound for the Pale Hose, which should give you plenty of time to read this article that suggests Detroit should convert Dontrelle Willis into an outfielder since the pitching thing doesn't seem to be working out.

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