Official DOL World Series Preview/Pick
Obviously I'm picking the Red Sox, but I don't think it's a biased pick.
Yes, I am a Red Sox fan. And yes, I care about this team more than a lot of people with the same last name as me.
But let's also look at some quick numbers.
2018 regular season record:
Los Angeles Dodgers: 92-71.
Boston Red Sox: 108-54.
Team batting average (2018 regular season):
Los Angeles Dodgers: .250 (14th in MLB)
Boston Red Sox: .268 (1st in MLB)
Team OPS (not nearly as drastic):
Los Angeles Dodgers: .744 (3rd in MLB)
Boston Red Sox: .792 (1st in MLB)
The Red Sox are the better team. Yes the Dodgers are the defending NL champs, but this is a much different roster than last year. They are obviously good or else they wouldn't be here, but this is the Red Sox series to lose. Plain and simple. They're semi-heavy favorites for a reason. It would one of the biggest upsets in World Series history (record wise) if the Dodgers pulled it off. The Red Sox led the bigs in every offense stat that mattered. The bullpen is starting to look really good. The starting pitching has been good enough. They are facing an unfamiliar foe in the Fall Classic in the LA Dodgers, but they are a beatable foe.
Now to their defense the Dodgers roster is a better than 92 win team, they've battled their injuries for sure, and in October the regular season record does not matter, ask the 2006 Cardinals.
But man, look at what the Red Sox have done in October. How can you not feel confident? Against the 100 win Yankees they weren't picked by many to win the series. This was a team who had won the division in 2016 and 2017 and quickly bowed out of the postseason. They proceeded to beat the Yankees in 4, sweeping the Yankees IN New York, outscoring them 20-4 in the process. Next came the big, bad Houston Astros. More like Houston ran-out-of-gas-trosss because they dropped four straight after winning game one. Three straight L's at home to end the season, ouch. Now we're here back in the Fall Classic after a long 5 year drought.
Now in a way that doesn't matter, it's the past. The Red Sox 7-2 record, (including a perfect 5-0 on the road) is what got them to the World Series, but isn't going to win it for them, but it sure is fucking encouraging to see how well they played against two frankly superior teams to the Dodgers.
Here are 5 things most concerning to me about the World Series.
5. Craig Kimbrel
In 5 postseason appearances this year Kimbrel has 8's and 6 walks, 5 earned runs in 6.1 innings. Not ideal!
There's rumors Eric Gagne may have helped Kimbrel with a mechanical issue that could've been causing him to tip his pitches, he was closer to vintage Kimbrel in game 5 of the ALCS, but man oh man how could feel good about this guy right now? Closers giving up runs in 4 of 5 appearences is not a World Series winning formula.
4. Chris Sale's Health
Pretty simple stuff here: when he's on he's one of the best pitchers in baseball. When he's not, its battle to go four innings. If the Red Sox want to win this series they are going to need the pre-July Chris Sale. What's good with that tummy, Chris? Also what's good with that shoulder, Chris??? I am scared!!
3. Manny Machado
I fucking despise Manny Machado. I can't think of one nice thing to say about him. I'm worried about dirty baseball, I'm worried about his bat. I do not what this lazy fuck to cost the Boston Red Sox a championship. He's a future Yankee and I hate everything about him. Doesn't hustle, shitty guy, and most importantly, HORRIBLE hair. I cannot have Manny Machado ruining my winter.
2. Clayton Kershaw and Dodger Narratives
I always am talking about the narratives in sports but what does that really mean?
Well here it's pretty simple with the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw so I'm bunching them together.
Despite being the best pitcher of this generation, with some spectacular postseason starts under his belt Clayton Kershaw still has that loser label to him in October. He'll likely have it unless he lead the Dodgers (or another team) to a World Series win. The Dodgers haven't won the World Series in 30 years AND are returning after losing in 7 last year.
It could be a team of destiny story with how they were like 16-26 at one point and had to play in a tie breaker just to make the playoffs. Kershaw and Dodgers could exercise those demons this series. I really don't want to have the Patriots be the team that gives the fucking Philadelphia Eagles their first Super Bowl win AND have the Red Sox be the team who cements Clayton Kershaw's legacy/ end Dodgers World Series drought in the same calendar year. I cannot take that. I will die inside even more.
There's too many pro-Dodger potential story lines in this series. Not to mention the life and death of Tommy LaSorda is on the line. Tommy famously basically said he wants the Dodgers to win it all so he can just die.
"I want to tell you this, I just had a birthday; I was 87 years old. And before I die I want to see that championship flag flying out there in center field. ... I've got a great feeling about this team. I think we're going to do it, I think we're going to get to the Fall Classic, and then the big Dodger in the sky can take me away."
1. Getting beaten by a scrub
Sports are unpredictable bro, that's why we love them (and hate the NBA). You can't write this shit, upsets happen all the time. This year we finally saw a 16 seed take down a 1. Anything can happen, cliche, cliche, cliche. I can deal with Kershaw being a stud, or a guy like Justin Turner having a big series. But I cannot have the Red Sox lose with some David Tyree bullshit. Granted the Dodgers don't have too many bums on their roster, and I like him as a player and guy so I hate to use him as an example, but like, if Kike Hernandez is series MVP and bats like .525 I'm jumping off a bridge.
The series is really simple, and while idiots like Jessica Mendoza think the X-factor is JD Martinez and Mookie Betts
This is going to come down to starting pitching. Yes in today's baseball the bullpen dominates October. But guys like Nathan Eovaldi or Walker Buehler can be the real x-factor here. Then there's the well known guys? How will Price follow up his first postseason win as a starter? WTF is good with Chris Sale's health? Is Kershaw going to finally get the monkey off his back or nah? That is what will dictate this series IMO.
My official pick is Sox in 6. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Dodgers win game 1 with Kershaw then the Sox take the next two. I'm feeling a similar series to the 2013 ALCS. Lose game one, win 2 and 3, lose 4, win 5 on the road then come home to win at home in 6.
My MVP pick is Rafael Devers! AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WILL BABY BELUGA FINALLY CATCH ON????????????? It's soooooooo much better than Raffi Big Scoops.
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