Play of the Day for Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008 7:16 PM

by GT Staff | Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox (-160, 9½u -115, LVH): Kansas City sends right-hander Luke Hochevar (3-2, 3.94 ERA) to the mound who was impressive in his last start – just his fifth in the Bigs after being called up from AAA Omaha earlier this season – allowing just five singles in the outing. He’ll face Red Sox lefthander Jon Lester (2-2, 3.90) in this series opener in Beantown, who, like Hochevar, was solid in his last start, also allowing just five hits. Lester is 1-1 lifetime with a 2.77 ERA versus Kansas City.

The World Champion Red Sox have a new reality in the American League East – worrying about the upstart Tampa Bay Rays who were tied with the Bosox heading into play on Sunday. Against sub-quality opponents, which KC (20-22) still is despite the strides they have made lately, Boston needs wins. And with David Ortiz slowly waking from his slumber and Kevin Youkilis (.318, 8 HRs, 30 RBI), Manny Ramirez (.308/8/27) and Dustin Pedroia (.306) all producing at the plate, the Red Sox can hang with anyone offensively in MLB. And nobody is better in the last threes seasons of coming from behind than this team. No wonder their on top. RED SOX -160.