1. The Yankees will take two of three games from their rival Red Sox, dropping tonight's opener before taking Saturday's and Sunday's contests. But it won't be all peaches and cream for the defending World Series champs.

With injuries already hitting Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter - the lone healthy member of the Core Four - will suffer hurt...feelings, when he watches this episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," in which the quality of his defensive play is questioned.

In a related story, Dallas Braden will blame Alex Rodriguez for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, mock him for having "a girl's name" and, at a time when A-Rod has been suffering discomfort behind his right knee, publicly fantasize about "sweeping the leg" of A-Rod the next time the Yankees and A's play.

2. The Mets will recover from their tough road trip, beating the Giants tonight and tomorrow before falling to Tim Lincecum on Sunday. Nevertheless, fans will shake their heads at some of Jerry Manuel's decisions.

Tonight, Manuel will double-switch Jason Bay out of the game. Tomorrow, he'll decline to use Francisco Rodriguez, because the Mets' four-run lead will not translate into a save situation. And on Sunday, he'll hit Gary Matthews Jr. leadoff against Lincecum, explaining if Mets fan Kevin James can land an attractive TV wife, then anything is possible.

3. The Phillies will continue their successful homestand by taking two of three games from the lowly Braves. The only problem will occur tomorrow, when stadium security folks taser an odd-looking troublemaker who gets onto the field and clowns around.

"You idiots!" Phillies owner Dave Montgomery will scream. "That's the Phillie Phanatic!"

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--On the Yankees' side, Erik Boland wrote about Brett Gardner. And Neil Best wrote an update on Yankees attendance. His piece on Mets attendance is linked to the word "Mets" in prediction number two.

--On the Mets' side, David Lennon wondered whether Carlos Beltran can play without undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee. It's a very fair question, and one that will loom over the Mets until either Beltran returns to the Mets or and plays well for an extended period or he opts for the microfracture surgery - which would presumably end his season before it began.

--Check back later today for a book contest giveaway - and another one Monday, to boot - and also for sights and sounds from Fenway Park.