Chris Sale (Left) is set to face Clayton Kershaw (Right) in game one of the World Series.
The 2018 World Series is a battle between the East and West coast. Two teams who started the season with one goal in mind, that goal is to cruise through October and win the World Series. While the goal is the same, their paths were very different. The Dodgers set a franchise worst forty game start going (16-24), while the Red Sox started out hot (28-12) and didn't look back. No matter their starts, the two teams will ultimately meet Tuesday in Fenway at game one of the World Series.
The Dodgers entered this year expecting success. Coming off a year where they won 104 games and fell one game short of winning the 2017 World Series. This year the Dodgers needed 163 games to clinch the division. They were riddled with injuries and were never able to find the momentum until the last month of the season where they went (14-4) to close out the regular season on their way to the NL West Crown. Despite their up and down regular season, they entered October as the best all around team in the NL. The boosted the best ERA, and the most runs scored per game in the National League. The postseason has been no different with scoring the most runs while giving up the least amount of runs per game in the NL during their postseason run. They enter the World Series as a scrappy underdog who can grind out wins in a variety of ways. For L.A. Dodgers to win the World Series, Kershaw and the rest of the starters need to be able to go 5 plus quality innings. On the offensive side, Cody Bellinger and Manny Machado will continue to be the stars of the offense but other hitters must produce. Yasiel Puig is the x-factor to this Dodger offense.
The Red Sox entered the season as the 2-time defending AL East champs with their eye on a 3-peat. Coming off a disappointing 2017 October where they fell to the Astros (3-1) in the ALDS, the Sox set a goal of World Series or bust. The Red Sox cruised through the regular season as the best team in baseball as they finished the regular season with a franchise record 108 wins. This team, while they have good pitching including a ace in Chris Sale, this team has really has made a living on the offensive side of the ball. Behind two MVP candidates in Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez they ranked first in all the major categories such as runs scored per a game, batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS. So far in the postseason they have remained a dominate offense scoring over six runs a game. The Red Sox have won all five games they have played on the road this postseason. For the Red Sox to win the World Series their offense must remain potent and get on the board early to take pressure off the starting pitchers. The pitching side comes down to how healthy Chris Sale is, and what they can get out of the other incumbent starters in David Price and Nathan Eovaldi. The x-factor for this team is the bullpen.
Game one of the World Series is Tuesday with Chris Sale set to face Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw will be making his first career start at Fenway under the brightest of lights. While Chris Sale should be fully healthy and continue his dominance at home. The two storied franchise's should make for a great World Series match-up with no shortage of young and veteran stars. Ultimately I see the potent Red Sox offense being too much for the Dodgers as the Red Sox win the World Series 4-2.
You can catch every World Series game between the Red Sox & Dodgers on Fox Sports 980.
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