you've got reigning AL Most Valuable Player and cy young award winner justin verlander facing MVP runner-up jacoby ellsbury in the first inning.
regarding that aforementioned verlander-ellsbury matchup, it's pretty rare stuff. the last time a reigning MVP pitcher faced the man who finished second to him in the balloting in his first start of the season? you have to go all the way back to 1932, when lefty grove faced lou gehrig.
verlander didn't just get the upper hand on ellsbury in the MVP voting (garnering 13 first-place votes to ellsbury's four); he's also had the upper hand when the two go head-to-head. in 14 career at-bats against verlander, ellsbury has managed just three hits, including one double, one walk and one strikeout."