Normally when a team from Boston meets a team from Los Angeles for a title series, it involves the Celtics and the Lakers in the NBA. This time will be a bit different in that it’s never happened in baseball. Well, technically it did when the Red Sox played the Brooklyn Robins (affiliated with the now LA Dodgers) in the 1916 World Series, but we will overlook that for now. Boston looks to win their fourth World Series in the last 15 seasons and the Dodgers have returned hoping to remedy their 7-game series defeat from last years World Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Boston Red Sox
For much of the regular season, the Dodgers were a solid offensive team. They have plenty of power bats in their lineup and a few guys who are adept at getting timely hits in crucial situations. That was apparent against the Milwaukee Brewers with Cody Bellinger (NLCS MVP) hitting the go-ahead 2-run HR in Game 7 and Yasiel Puig hitting a 3-run HR to put the game away. Manny Machado is no stranger to playing against Boston with most of his career spent playing for Baltimore. He leads the Dodgers with 3 HR and 9 RBI this Postseason. Even though Bellinger was named the NLCS MVP, he will have to take that momentum into the World Series and improve upon his .139 batting average. Los Angeles’ bullpen has been solid and proved it in the NLCS. Closer Kenley Jansen hasn’t given up a run this Postseason and has three saves in his six appearances. Clayton Kershaw has had another stellar Postseason run and will be counted on to set the tone for the start of this Series.
David Price secured his first win as a starting pitcher in the Postseason with his performance in Game 5 against Houston. The Red Sox took care of the defending champion Astros in 5 games and quelled any concerns about the Series coming down to a pitching duel against better arms for Houston. Boston will have a healthy and fresh Chris Sale and a more confident David Price for what’s expected to be another hard fought Series. Questions still linger about closer Craig Kimbrel who has given up at least one run in all but one of his Postseason appearances. Jackie Bradley Jr. didn’t have the best showing in the ALCS, but he did come up with the biggest hits as he was named ALCS MVP. J.D. Martinez has remained consistent throughout the Postseason with a .313 batting average and 9 RBI. Rafael Devers made huge contributions in the ALCS and has a .350 average with 7 RBI. Boston’s timely hitting and defense have been huge factors and will need to be again. We’re still waiting for the breakout performance from the potential AL MVP in Mookie Betts.
Dodgers in 6 games