BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox will have their best hitter in the lineup when they start their battle for first place in the Bronx.

After leaving Sunday’s game early with a shoulder contusion, Mookie Betts is back at the top of the Boston lineup on Tuesday as they begin a three-game set with the Yankees. Betts has been on fire to start the season, slashing .355/.434/.818 with 13 homers and 26 RBIs, and brings some solid numbers against Tuesday night’s starter, Luis Severino, to New York. Betts has six hits in 19 career at-bat against the Yankees righty, with three doubles and a pair of RBIs.

Andrew Benintendi has the best career numbers against Severino, hitting .500 (6-for-18) with two doubles, a triple and a pair of homers. The Sox will need the top of their lineup to set the tone this series, with the bottom third struggling mightily as of late. Jackie Bradley Jr. is in a 5-for-47 slump over his last 15 games with no extra-base hits while Eduardo Nunez is just 9-for-54 in his last 14 games. Catcher Christian Vazquez is hitting just .193 for the season.

This series marks the first time the Red Sox and Yankees are playing each other with the majors’ two best records since June, 2002. The 25-9 Red Sox own a one-game lead over the 24-10 Yankees in the AL East heading into the series, which could include some renewed fireworks between the two teams after their bench-clearing brawl at Fenway Park in April.

Here is Boston’s full lineup for Tuesday’s series opener:

1. Mooke Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
6. Rafael Devers, 3B
7. Eduardo Nunez, 2B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9. Christian Vazquez, C
— Drew Pomeranz, LHP

Here’s the lineup the Yankees are sending out against Pomeranz:

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Aaron Judge, RF
3. Didi Gregorious, SS
4. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
5. Gary Sanchez, C
6. Aaron Hicks, CF
7. Miguel Andujar, 3B
8. Tyler Austin, 1B
9. Gleyber Torres, 2B
— Luis Severino, RHP


Pomeranz is 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in three starts this season, but owns a 3-2 record and 3.12 ERA at Yankee Stadium during his career. Yankees backstop Gary Sanchez has had his way with Pomeranz in previous matchups, going 8-for-18 against the lefty with three homers.

Severino is coming off his first career shutout, a five-hit gem against the Astros last week, but is just 2-5 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.157 WHIP against Boston in his career.


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