PLAY OF THE DAY Monday, March 31, 2008

Mar 31, 2008 9:38 PM

In the last Opening Day in the House that Ruth Built, the Yankees host the Blue Jays and ace Roy Halladay (16-7, 3.71 ERA) in what should be an close game as the Bronx Bombers seek their 11th straight win in their home opener. New York ace Chien-Ming Wang (19-7, 3.70 ERA) gets the ball from new manager Joe Giradi and will pitch his first-ever Opening Day start – on his 28th birthday – after an injury prevented him from doing so last season.

In three games against NY in 2007, Halladay went 1-0, and his Jays went 2-0 against the Yankees in Wang-Halladay match-ups. In their last head-to-head on Sept. 21, Halladay allowed eight hits and just one earned run in a 5-4 Toronto win at Yankee Stadium.

Although it’s hard to bet against the Yankees and a 10-game Opening Day win streak with their pitcher celebrating a birthday in the last opener at an historic stadium which will soon be razed, Wang’s Grapefruit League numbers (8.44 ERA in 10 2/3 innings) and his shelling by the Indians in the ALDS leads one to wonder how confident he will be today.

That possible lack of confidence, in the form of dominance on the mound, makes taking the reliable Halladay and the plus money the logical thing to do here despite the Yankees home dominance on Opening Day. BLUE JAYS +130. [POSTPONED-RAIN]