The decision on an Opening Day starter against the Detroit Tigers could have been a difficult one for Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

Jon Lester, who drew the assignment from Terry Francona last season, has been the team's best starter over the last few years. But Josh Beckett had a better season in 2011.

Beckett made it an easy call for Valentine, telling him in January he thought Lester deserved the honor. After watching Lester pitch in spring training, Valentine made it official Monday.