The Dodgers beat the Brewers in game seven to advance to the “Fall Classic” for the second straight year. As Los Angeles fought through Milwaukee, their World Series opponent from the American League sat back and watched. The Boston Red Sox beat the defending world champion Houston Astros in five games.
The Dodgers opened up the postseason with game number 163, a tie-breaker with the Colorado Rockies for the NL West division title. After winning that game, Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig said “And we’re going to the World Series again. And this time, we’re going to win the World Series.”
The Dodgers met the NL East champion Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Los Angeles made quick work of “the Bravos” and moved on to face the Milwaukee Brewers, the team with the best regular season record in the National League.
The Brewers put up a good fight, as the Dodgers found themselves down 2-1 after the first three games. Things turned around in the 14th inning of game four in the “City of Angels” as Cody Bellinger delivered a walk-off single. Bellinger would go on and hit the go-ahead home run in game seven, leading to him being named NLCS MVP.
The Red Sox won their division, the AL East with the best regular season record in baseball. Their first task was the AL Wild Card winner and division rival New York Yankees. Boston moved past the Yankees with ease in just four games to face Houston.
The Astros were favored to win the World Series coming into the season, and their biggest threat, supposedly, the Yankees, was eliminated. Astros third basemen Alex Bregman took to social media to taunt the Red Sox of a home run hit off of Nathan Eovaldi in the regular season. The Red Sox were able to tune out the noise and pushed past Houston, winning the series in five games, including three road wins.
As these two teams get set to begin a highly anticipated series today. The key for each team is simple, pitching. Both teams have dangerous lineups that are stacked with stars. The Red Sox boast a group that consists of AL MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, along with Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and the ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr.
The Dodgers roll out a group that has Cody Bellinger, Manny Machado, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Matt Kemp, and Chris Taylor.
Both lineups are capable of running up the score, so pitching will be the key for both teams. The Dodgers are going to have to figure out how to stop the dynamic duo of Betts and Martinez. The two are so talented that Martinez, normally a designated hitter will be forced into a position on the field so they can keep his explosive bat in lineup. Martinez came close to winning the triple crown as he finished second in the American League in batting average with .330, second in home runs with 43 and first in RBI’s with 130.
Boston is also going to have to shut down the combination of Machado and Bellinger. Bellinger, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year helped lead the Dodgers’ offense in the absence of Cory Seager, who was injured early in the year for the entire season. Machado was aquired at the All-star break from Baltimore and has helped push L.A. into the post season. Machado had 37 home runs and 107 RBI’s between his time in Baltiore and L.A. in 2018. Machado also is one of the biggest pending free agents heading into the offseason, leaving him with plenty of motivation to prove he can carry a team through October.
With the health of Chris Sale a question following a rough ALCS due to an infection from a belly button ring, the starting pitching edge goes to L.A. The Dodgers have one of baseball’s best in Clayton Kershaw, rookie phenom Walker Buehler, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu. As long as Sale is healthy, the Red Sox have Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price and Eovaldi. Sale and Kershaw are so good they cancel each other out if they are both at the top of their game, but the others mostly favor the Dodgers.
The issue L.A. will have is that the Red Sox bullpen is better. Craig Kimbrel leads the group, followed by Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree and Ryan Brasier. The Dodger ‘pen consists of Kenley Jansen on the back end, then followed by Pedro Báez, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood and Caleb Ferguson. This Dodgers group is talented, but the Red Sox bullpen has been very good throughout the postseason and the Boston lineup is a scarier match-up late in games.
The Red Sox have a better lineup and are a well rested team. L.A. just fought for seven games with Milwaukee to claw their way into the World Series. Those extra innings that the Dodgers’ bullpen has on it will weigh on them as the season reaches its peak. Boston is well rested and flying high after beating the Astros.
The Beacon Staff opinions
Luke Modrovsky (Editor-in-Chief) – Boston in five games
Ben Mandell (Co-Sports Editor) – Boston in seven games
Kirsten Peters (Co-Sports Editor) – Boston in five games
Madelynn Davis (Co-News Editor) – Boston in six games
Parker Dorsey (Asst. Opinion Editor) – Los Angeles in seven games
Tyler Aldinger (Staff Writer) – Boston in six games