It is finally here. Over seven months after pitchers and catchers reported for spring training, the World Series is now upon us and it features two of the biggest markets in the sport. The Los Angeles Dodgers, with a salary that ranks 2nd of all playoff teams at $194 million, will take on the Boston Red Sox, who ranked 1st of all playoff teams with a $237 million payroll.
The two will square off in game one Tuesday night as the Dodgers travel to Fenway Park to take on the Red Sox. It will be a battle of the aces in this one as the Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw (11-6, 2.69 ERA) to the mound to take on Chris Sale (13-4, 2.19 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 pm ET.
The moneyline for Tuesday’s game one is set at the Los Angeles Dodgers +130 and the Boston Red Sox -150. The over/under on runs scored is set at 7.5.
Dodgers Hoping To Steal Game One And Home Field Advantage
The Dodgers would love nothing more than to take a little bit of the wind out of the Red Sox sails by taking game one of the series in Fenway Park. To try to do that, they will be sending southpaw Clayton Kershaw to the mound. In the playoffs this year, Kershaw is a combined 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and opponents are hitting a paltry .169 against him. In 4 games (3 games started), Kershaw has pitched 19 innings, striking out 16, walking 4 and allowing just a single home run.
He last pitched in game 7 of the NLCS in relief, but in his last start, he went 7 innings, allowing 1 earned run and striking out 9 on October 17th. It will be interesting to see if there is any carry over from his relief appearance in game 7, but Kershaw has certainly bucked the stigma of not pitching well in the playoffs as he has been mostly solid this postseason.
Offensively, the Dodgers have been getting contributions all over the lineup this postseason. Chris Taylor is hitting .360/.467/.600 with a 1.067 OPS, Manny Machado has 3 home runs and 9 runs batted in and Yasiel Puig has been hitting well, going .333/.429/.533 with a .962 OPS in the playoffs. What will be interesting is how manager Dave Roberts sets his lineup against the tough lefty, Chris Sale.
Players like Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy might not find their names written on the lineup card. Also interesting to watch will be how Roberts takes advantage of the designated hitter, something he has been unable to use until now in the playoffs.
Red Sox Hope To Keep Momentum Going
After dropping the first game at home, the Red Sox went on to take four straight from the defending champion Houston Astros and seemed to be the hottest team on the planet. It will be interesting to see how a slight break in action affects the Red Sox, but they are hoping they will be in good shape with Chris Sale on the mound. Thus far this postseason, Sale is 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .171 against him. In 10.1 innings over 3 games, he has 14 strikeouts, 6 walks and has not allowed a home run.
Offensively, they may have the best 1-4 hitters in all of baseball with Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are competing against one another for the AL MVP Award this year and Andrew Benintendi may have been the star of the ALCS, both offensively and defensively. Still, facing off against Clayton Kershaw isn’t an easy task for any lineup so the Red Sox will have their hands full.
Pitchers Deal, But Red Sox Come Out Ahead
This is the type of pitching matchup that you can only dream about in the World Series. Two Cy Young caliber type players squaring off against one another in game one. I really see the offense being down in this one and it becoming a pitcher’s duel for 6-7 innings. From there, I like the Red Sox chances to strike first.
They had the best record in all of baseball, they have been playing some of the best baseball in the postseason and they are playing at home. Those three things make it really tough for me to bet against them. At least in game one, I am putting my money on the Red Sox at -150.