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World Series Preview: Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series

Tomorrow starts one of the most exciting championships in all of sports, the World Series. This year, two of the biggest markets meet as the Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Dodgers. For Boston, they are trying to win the World Series for the first time since 2013. LA, who lost in Game 7 against Houston last year, has not won since 1988. To put it in perspective, the last time the Dodgers won the World Series, Kirk Gibson was still on the team and hit one of the most prolific walks offs in the history of the sport. Both teams possess potent offensives with deep benches. The starting pitchers are some of the biggest names as Clayton Kershaw is still looking for his first ring and will be up against Chris Sale.

Boston Red Sox

World Series
World Series 2018: Dodgers vs. Red Sox Early Odds, Schedule and Preview | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights.
Image Courtesy of Bleacher Report.

The Boston Red Sox won 108 games in the regular season and clinched the best record in baseball. Boston has eased their way to the World Series on the backs of their explosive offense and dominant starting rotation.

The offense is led by MVP candidate Mookie Betts, and free agent singing J.D. Martinez. Surprisingly Betts has been quiet this postseason, as he is hitting .205 with three RBIs in 39 at bats. This just shows how deep Boston’s line up is. With the best player on the team being shut down, Boston has hit a combined .253 with nine home runs in nine games. J.D. Martinez who has picked up the slack, is hitting .313 with two home runs and nine RBI’s.

The starting pitching has been lights out. Chris Sale looks completely different this postseason than he did a year ago. With a little playoff experience under his belt, the lefty went 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA and 14 strikeouts over three games. Sale was able to fix his mistakes from last year and was able to overcome his lack of postseason experience. David Price finally won his first playoff start after 12 attempts. If the 33-year-old ace can finally put his playoff struggles behind, then LA is in for a rude awakening. Nathan Eovaldi went 2-0 in three starts. New York and Houston could barely solve Bostons starting rotation and this does not look like its going to change against LA.

The only weakness in Boston’s line up is All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. It turns out Kimbrel was tipping his pitches and opposing teams took advantage. Kimbrel came close to blowing multiple games but was bailed out by his defense. Andrew Benintendi bailed him out on a diving catch to save game four. If Benintendi missed Houston may have tied it due to runners were on first and second.

Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series
2018 World Series Schedule Details
Image courtesy of The Big Lead.

The Dodgers were on the verge of missing the playoffs and having their NL West title streak end at five but were able to pull it together at the very end. The 2017 runners-up have finally looked like they did a last year. This allowed for the team to ease past Atlanta and edge out the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 7.

LA is led by trade-acquisition Manny Machado and Justin Turner. Turner was shut down by Milwaukee in Game 1 but came back hit the go-ahead home run in Game 2. Machado is hitting .250 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He has started to cool off and it may not be a coincidence. Machado intentionally bumped Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar when attempting to run out a grounder. Machado clearly hit Aguilar’s foot and afterwords was called a dirty player. Milwaukee relentlessly booed Machado in Games 6 and 7. He struggled in both. LA is not deep enough to make up for a struggling Machado. LA’s offense was able to repeatedly show all playoffs that no deficit is too big for the team. They will gnaw and claw their way to the top.

Besides Ace Clayton Kershaw, the starting rotation is unproven. This is extremely scary due to the fact that no one knows which Kershaw will show up in the playoffs. Kershaw was inconsistent in Game 1 of the NLCS but he redeemed himself later on in the series. If Kershaw can stay consistent in the World Series, the Dodgers will be in a good position to make an upset. However, this has never been the case. Hyun-Jin Ryu was the Dodgers most consistent pitcher this year and he fell apart against Milwaukee. He was the losing pitcher in Game 6 and pitched a no-decision in game two. He was bailed out by Turner’s home run late in the game.

If the Dodgers’ starting pitchers and bullpen can hold Boston, then they have a chance to close it out. Kenley Jansen has not given up a run this postseason and already has three saves. On paper, the Dodgers are outmatched but have already come from behind  multiple times this postseason. Why would the World Series be any different?

Who has the edge?

On paper Boston has the advantage in all most every category. They already beat the only other teams with 100 or more regular season wins. In fact, Boston barely broke a sweat as they beat New York in four and Houston in five.

But it is very unwise to bet against the Dodgers. Just when it looks like they were going to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012, they stole the division away from the Colorado Rockies. LA then eliminated the Atlanta Braves with ease and squeaked out a game seven win against the Milwaukee Brewers. LA’s roster is talented but has a few glaring holes that the Red Sox do not own. Boston has the advantage when it comes to offense, starting pitching and the bullpen. LA has the advantage when it comes to closer’s. LA will need to win at least one in Boston to have a chance or this will be a short series.


Boston in 6.

Feature Image From Wikipedia.

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