MLB 2010 to Begin with Yanks at Red Sox

Major League Baseball on Monday announced the starting lineup for Opening Day 2010, scheduling the New York Yankees to begin their title defense in Fenway Park.

On Sunday, April 4, the 27-time World Series champs will face their bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in a night game to be broadcast on ESPN2.

The 8 p.m. contest marks the second time the Yanks and Sox will meet in an MLB season opener. The last time the two teams set the table for the rest of the league was on April 3, 2005, when New York hosted Boston in the first game following the Sox’ 2004 World Series victory. The Yanks blew out the Sox, 9-2.

The game marks the start of ESPN’s 21st season as an MLB broadcasting partner.

Last season, ESPN averaged 1.61 million viewers for its 66 regular-season telecasts, down 5 percent from the previous campaign. The network’s Sunday Night Baseball telecasts averaged 2.46 million viewers for 23 games, down 6 percent from the 2008 season.

The Yanks and Sox last season met four times on SNB, drawing an average crowd of 4.63 million viewers, up 14 percent from the three New York-Boston brawls it carried over the course of the 2008 campaign.