This major league baseball season has provided countless memorable moments, but they aren’t through yet.
Last week, the Boston Red Sox punched their ticket to the World Series after defeating the Houston Astros in five games. The Red Sox had the most wins in all of baseball, winning 108 out of 162 matchups. They were the favorite heading into the postseason, and are now the favorite in the World Series.
On Saturday, the NLCS concluded an exciting seven game series, with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming out victorious over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers are heading to the World Series for the second straight year, after not reaching the World Series since 1988.
With the World Series just beginning, some of us at 42Fifty have put together our predictions for the series.
While the Red Sox bulldozed through the season, putting up an MLB-best 108 wins, I still have some areas of concern. For one thing, David Price, the number-two starter for the Sox, has a career 3-9 record with a 5.04 ERA in the postseason. However, in his game five start against the Astros, Price went 6.0 innings giving up only three hits, striking out nine, and not allowing a single run. A reason for optimism, for sure.
The Boston offense is what draws my attention to this squad. They are getting great production from Jackie Bradley Jr., hitting in the nine spot. Also, the usual big names, such as Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, have played well throughout the playoffs to this point, and I would definitely expect that to continue into the Fall Classic.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, took the Brewers to the wire, winning in seven games. Their offense, led by Yasiel Puig, Manny Machado and Cody Bellinger, has been electric, putting up nearly four runs per game this postseason. Their starting pitching staff, led by Kershaw, has been nothing short of impressive.
I could see this series going either way, but the Sox won 108 games for a reason. The Dodgers’ struggles throughout the year and their inability to close out the NLCS in game six against an overused Milwaukee bullpen has me leaning the Boston way.
My prediction? Boston in six. Their offense is too good, and I don’t have faith in the L.A. bullpen.
After a difficult season competing against the rest of the NL West, and barely scraping by with one win ahead of the Colorado Rockies at the end of the season, the Dodgers’ postseason run has definitely come as a shock. Their three losses to the Brewers in the NLCS showed their lack of bullpen depth and offensive struggles against a not-so-strong defense. Despite this, they hit the most homeruns in the NL this season, and have two strong pitchers in Clayton Kershaw and bullpen relief from Kenley Jansen. Kershaw has 2-1 record so far this postseason, and an 2.37 ERA, and Jansen has 10 K’s in 6.2 innings. As long as these two maintain control over the ball against hitters like J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts, we could be in for a lot of action from both sides.
The Red Sox have been on fire all season, with 108 wins to their name to show for it. Overall, both their bats and starting pitchers put them at an advantage over the Blue Crew, with southpaws Chris Sale and David Price in the line-up as starting pitchers for Games 1 and 2, respectively. Sale is coming off the DL from an illness caused by a belly button ring infection, after giving up two runs in Game 1 of the ALCS within the first four innings. Price was drastically better at home during the regular season as opposed to on the road, with a 2.98 ERA at Fenway in comparison to the 4.31 on the road. As long as these two start the series off strong to allow the Sox a couple early wins, and Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts keep the bats hot, they’re set for a title for the first time since 2013.
I’m going Red Sox in six, because the Dodgers don’t have enough bullpen depth to keep them from going underwater, and if ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr. continues produce performances similar to his 9 RBI spectacle, the “Boys in Blue” won’t stand a chance.
This year proved to be tough for the Dodgers in the hard NL West, containing a strong Rockies team that finished one game behind the Dodgers. The Dodgers are a very solid team with a strong, young defense. Their offense is young and electric: Machado and Bellinger are the best young hitters on the team. They have good starting pitching in Clayton Kershaw, and their bullpen is lights out with Kenley Jansen at the back end.
However, the Red Sox are truly a dominant team that’s very similar to the 2012 roster, which had a powerhouse offense and great pitching. JD Martinez and Mookie Betts led the Sox offense with 30 plus home runs each. Craig Kimbrel and the Red Sox bullpen is near untouchable, giving up no runs this postseason.
I don’t think the Red Sox will be able to handle Kershaw in the first game. I think the Dodgers will steal two games from the Sox, but ultimately the Red Sox finishing on top in six games. The Red Sox are just too strong for the Dodgers in a seven game series.
Red Sox in six.
This year was electric for the Boston Red Sox. With a record of 108 wins and 54 losses, the Sox seemed to be unstoppable in what turned out to be a very competitive AL East, with the top three teams having at least 90 wins. The Red Sox had an explosive offense in the ALCS, putting up 29 runs in the series against a very good Astros pitching staff. This production will be needed again, as the Dodgers have a decent pitching staff with a bullpen that has done surprisingly well in the postseason.
The Dodgers looked sloppy against the Brewers in their three losses in the NLCS, which is another aspect in favor of the Red Sox. Even though they had the most home runs in the NL this year and their pitching staff has stepped up, I don’t think it will be enough to overtake the Red Sox.
Red Sox in six.
The consensus around the newsroom seems to be that the Sox will have their second title in six years. With the series kicking off last night in Boston, we are all one step closer to seeing if our predictions hold or if the Dodgers will make fools of us as they did to the sports world in the second half of the season.