LA Dodgers vs. Boston Red Sox – 2018 World Series

WELCOME TO THE FALL CLASSIC 2018!!

By the time the Dodgers and Red Sox square off in Game 1 of the 2018 World Series, it will have been 356 days since the Dodgers went down in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series.  It will be 30 year’s this month since the last Dodgers WS victory.  This year’s WS can make all of those bad memories go away (at least for me).  It has been 102 years since the Dodgers (Robins) faced off against Red Sox and Babe Ruth.  The Red Sox beat the Robins 5 games to 1, including a 14-inning complete game 2-1 victory by the Babe.  My how things have changed in 102 years.

This year’s WS matches two former teammates as managers.  The first year Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and third year LA Dodgers manager Dave Roberts were once Dodgers teammates from 2002-2004 (until Roberts’ deadline trade to Boston, 07-31-04).  It also matches two high salaried franchises.  The Red Sox led all MLB organizations with a projected salary (per Cots Contracts) of $237,354,363, while the Dodgers (#4) are projected (per Cots Contracts) to be $194,175,972.  The Dodgers projected salary is high due to Kenta Maeda’s incentives being projected to be $5MM; about $2MM to $3MM too high.  The Red Sox were already over the luxury tax threshold when they signed JD Martinez.  I think it can be argued that the Red Sox are not in the WS without JDM.  Once successfully dropping below the threshold, FAZ chose not to go above it.  Both teams made deadline trade transactions that benefited the teams.  The Red Sox acquired Nathan Eovaldi from the Rays, and Ian Kinsler from the Angels.  The Dodgers acquired Manny Machado, Brian Dozier, John Axford, and Ryan Madson (August).

I kept reading how this year’s team was a repeat of last year so after winning 104 games in 2017 why shouldn’t the Dodgers be in the WS in 2018?  It might surprise some but this year’s NLCS roster only had 13 players on last year’s WS roster.

Players on last year’s team not on this year’s roster:

 

Charlie Culberson – Utility

Andre Ethier – PH

Logan Forsythe – 2B

Corey Seager – SS

Chase Utley – 2B/PH

Yu Darvish – RHSP

Josh Fields – RHRP

Brandon McCarthy – RHRP

Brandon Morrow – RHRP

Ross Stripling – RHRP

Tony Cingrani – LHRP

Tony Watson – LHRP

 

2018 Replacements:

 

Brian Dozier – 2B/PH

David Freese – 1B/PH

Matt Kemp – OF/PH

Manny Machado – SS

Max Muncy – 1B/2B

Walker Buehler – RHSP

Hyun-jin Ryu – LHSP

Pedro Baez – RHRP

Caleb Ferguson – LHRP

Dylan Floro – RHRP

Ryan Madson – RHRP

Julio Urias – LHRP

 

2018 Carryovers:

 

Justin Turner – 3B

Yasiel Puig – OF

Cody Bellinger – 1B/OF

Chris Taylor – IF/OF

Joc Pederson – OF

Yasmani Grandal – C

Austin Barnes – C

Kike’ Hernandez – IF/OF

Clayton Kershaw – LHSP

Kenley Jansen – RHRP

Kenta Maeda – RHRP

Alex Wood – LHP

Rich Hill – LHSP

 

That is a change of 5 position players, 2 starting pitchers, and 5 relief pitchers.

 

Offensive Playoff Stats:

 

Batting:

Boston – .253/.341/.404/.745

LAD – .218/.324/.367/.691

 

Batting wRISP:

Boston – .370/.495/.658/1.152

LAD – .190/.330/.333/.663

 

HRs:

Boston – 9

LAD – 13

 

GIDP:

Boston – 3

LAD – 11

 

Strikeouts/BB:

Boston – 67/38

LAD – 117/50

 

Pitching Playoff Stats:

 

Overall ERA:

Boston – 3.79

LAD – 2.79

 

Overall WHIP:

Boston – 1.30

LAD – 1.07

 

Overall Batting Average Against:

Boston – .217

LAD – .206

 

Overall K/9 and K/BB:

Boston – 8.22 and 1.85

LAD – 9.99 and 3.58

 

Starter ERA:

Boston – 3.92

LAD – 3.86

 

Starter WHIP:

Boston – 1.24

LAD – 1.15

 

Starter Batting Average Against:

Boston – .235

LAD – .224

 

Starter K/9 and K/BB:

Boston – 8.04 and 2.60

LAD – 9.26 and 3.33

 

Relief ERA:

Boston – 3.62

LAD – 1.30

 

Relief WHIP:

Boston – 1.37

LAD – 0.96

 

Relief Batting Average Against:

Boston – .194

LAD – .180

 

Relief K/9 and K/BB:

Boston – 8.44 and 1.40

LAD – 11.02 and 3.92

 

Overall it appears that the Dodgers have slightly better pitching, while the Red Sox have slightly better offense.  Where theBIGdifference is in batting with RISP.  The Red Sox have done a tremendous job of driving in runs in scoring position, especially with 2 outs.  We all know this is not a LAD strength.

 

The Red Sox will trot out Chris Sale (L), David Price (L), Rick Porcello (R), and Nathan Eovaldi (R), while the Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (L), Rich Hill (L), Walker Buehler (R), and Hyun-jin Ryu (L).  The Red Sox have a predominantly RH batting team.  Only Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland are LH batters.

 

In addition to the 2 LHSP, the Red Sox only have 1 LHRP.  Will FAZ and Doc make any changes? The only LH batting options to be considered are Chase Utley, Alex Verdugo, and Andrew Toles.  I do not see any changes in this regard.

 

With the very heavy RH hitting Red Sox team, I think it is possible the Dodgers could make a change with Fields or Stripling.

 

This Dodgers team seems more determined than last year’s.  Last year’s team seemed like they were in awe of being at the WS, while this year’s team seems to battle more when things seem to go awry.

 

The Red Sox have a formidable lineup especially with JD Martinez, and the likely AL MVP Mookie Betts.  Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rafael Devers have had a good playoffs and may continue.  JDM will need to play defense in LA.  That will put Betts at 2B and Kinsler or Holt on the bench. The Dodgers get to counter by getting Muncy/Kemp/Freese in at DH while the games are in Boston.  I figure that Kemp will be the DH in Boston with Freese at 1B against Sale and Price.

 

Good pitching should cancel out good hitting, and the Dodgers just might have the pitching to counter the Red Sox bats.  The Dodgers did a great job of minimizing the damage of the likely NL MVP, Christian Yelich.  I like Kershaw/Hill/Buehler/Ryu over Sale/Price/Porcello/Eovaldi.  Both teams have formidable bullpens.  While Kimbrel may be struggling, Barnes, Brasier, Kelly, and Rodriguez have pitched well in the playoffs.  As good as the Red Sox pen has been, I think the Dodgers pen of Jansen, Baez, Madson, Floro, and Ferguson have been even better than the Red Sox group.

 

CT3 and Yasiel Puig have been very solid during the playoffs, and I look forward to seeing if they can continue.  But I will be watching more for Manny Machado to have a great WS.  He appears to thrive in the spotlight, and hopefully the biggest spotlight will be the WS that will help him to shine.  Pre-trade 2018, he batted .278/.333/.472/.806 against the Red Sox.  This compares very close to his career batting against the Red Sox – .277/.321/.475/.796.

 

The 2018 World Series projects to be a great one between 2 storied franchises.  The last two WS have been fantastic.  Hopefully, the 2018 WS will be even better, except in 2018 the Dodgers win.

 

 

 

This article has 49 Comments

  1. Just read about Rich Hill, his dad, and his history in Boston (today’s LA Times). He must start game 2 in Boston! Ryu pitches better at home! Please make sure this happens, it’s good karma! Such an easy decision.

  2. Anyone going to the games in Boston?

    At least 3 Dodgers fans will be there, albeit probably behind one of those stupid beams!!

  3. Ken Gurnicks’s take on all this:

    Corey Seager’s elbow blew out, and the Dodgers found a way. The entire starting rotation went on the disabled list, and they found a way. Kenley Jansen’s heart raced, and they found a way. They even found a way to overcome a nine-game deficit in the National League West. And on Saturday, the Dodgers found their way back to the World Series.

    1. Who cares. We didn’t do it good enough, so fire Doc, fire FAZ, fire everybody!! But keep David Freeze; I like him as a vet leader

    2. That’s what I was thinking, but I could not put it in words. That’s what happens when a CPA tries to write.

  4. Who should throw out the first pitch for the Dodgers in Game 3?

    I pick 4:

    Kirk Gibson
    Orel Hershiser
    Mickey Hatcher
    …. drum roll….
    Mikle Scioscia!

    1. Not Gagne. Keep going Reggie Smith until they lose a game. Who hasn’t been seen in awhile? Burt Hooten? Jerry Rolls Royce? Jay Howell and his high school curve ball? Alejandro Pena? Scioscia and Hatcher? Bill Russell?

  5. I’m not spending a lot of time with pundits but I do agree chris sale could be the most important player in the series.

    1. Bobo

      I could go with Tommy too.

      Because he was not only the manager of the last Dodger Championship team, he was also the manager the last time the Dodgers went to the series back to back.

      And he was also the manager of that 81 Dodger championship team, too.

      But I bet Rudy would just love for Tommy to tell Roberts the exact same words he said last year to Roberts, right before game seven.

    2. I’m guessing somewhere along the line we will see a Vin sighting, either on the field or in his suite. Damn I miss that guy.

  6. Did you guys see that Kimbrel was tipping his pitches?

    A good friend of Alex Cora, called him, and told him that.

    Someone on the Astros must be pretty good at reading pitchers.

    I hope there is not more to why Ryu looked so easy to hit, the second time, he faced the Brewers.

      1. Mark

        I just saw Kimbrel say that in an interview, he didn’t say who it was.

        Did you see what Puig did on film?

        Did you see what Puig did?

    1. ”It hasn’t been a banner postseason for all-world Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, who has allowed at least one earned run in four of five appearances. However, Kimbrel may have begun a turnaround in his most recent outing Thursday, when he threw a scoreless, hitless frame with two strikeouts and a walk to close out the Astros in the ALCS. Kimbrel revealed afterward that he had been tipping his pitches – something former closer Eric Gagne first noticed while watching from home, Ben Harris of The Athletic writes (subscription required). “There’s quite a few people, but actually Eric Gagne texted me last night,” Kimbrel said. “He’s good friends with AC (Alex Cora), and he texted me and gave me some advice.” As part of an interesting piece that’s worth checking out, Harris goes on to break down what Kimbrel was doing wrong and how he fixed it.”

  7. We know Freese is playing 1B tomorrow and Kemp is DH’ing. I wonder if Dozier plays 2B. He has the most plate appearance vs Sale. .255/.300/.532 in 50 plate appearances. Machado has hit .316 against him.

  8. Kershaw said he was wanting to see how he did with the cold weather, which is pretty smart.

    I think both Manny and Dozier, can probably help us in this series, with their American League roots.

    They said on the MLB Channel, that the weather is suppose to be good for these first two games, but on my IPhone weather app it says it is suppose to rain, tomorrow night.

  9. I am going to start off with and earl prediction. Only this one is not based on a whole lot of facts. I don’t know how many times this season we have walked around with our chests pumped up because of how much we overpowered a couple of teams, only to call for Roberts and Turner Wards heads on a stick after we got our asses kicked by the Reds Mets and Marlins, and looked terrible doing it. Up down, Up down, that has been our roll all season long. I posted before about how this is the first really good Dodger team in years that I have no idea how they will play from day to day, a true box of blue chocolates. I predict they will steal one in Boston, look good doing it, go to LA and get their asses kicked in the first game, win the next two to go to Boston up 3-2, get absolutely blown out in game 6 with all the Sahx fans calling for their heads, then in Game 7 with what seems like everything going against them, totally take the air of the stadium with another late inning 3 run dagger to take the series. Just like the Brewers series, this one is going to be another stress bucket of a series. To tell you the truth, they seem to play better when there is no way out. This years team is taking some serious life bars out of my life.

  10. The red sox newspapers and funs are saying that sox are much better tha DODGERS. They are saying that DODGERS dont worry them at all. They say that Yankees and astros are much better than DODGERS. So it will be easy for them

  11. I know its corny but I’m truly excited about the visuals of playing the world series in Fenway. It’s just damn cool.

  12. My son just got some tickets for game 4 on Sat. I will be there with my son and grandson. It would be something special if we could watch the dodgers wrap it up in four

  13. My son got 3 tickets to Saturday’s game 4. Me, my son and my grandson will be three generations of Dodger fans hopeing that we can close it our in 4 and we can see the celebration. How great would that be.

  14. I had a lot of paperwork at home this evening and thought I would treat myself to parts of game 2 and game 5 from the series last year. Actually it was rather cathartic, as I was literally sick after 5 this time last year watching it. But now that we are back in the Series I am finally able watch those games for what they were, baseball classics that the good guys were on the wrong side of in each. So close in both, a few pitches change both outcomes and end that series in 5. Anyway moving on, I am ready and not ready for more of the same this year. 18 hours to first pitch, watching Kersh in the pen last night typlified greatness. We all could benefit from applying his ethos to our careeer and life. Just awesome, come on Dodgers let’s do this.

  15. Rotation has been set.

    Game 1 Kershaw
    Game 2 Ryu
    Game 3 Beuhler
    Game 4 Hill (Probably)

    Not what I would have done.
    Ryu looks more comfortable pitching at home, as does Hill.
    I would have gone with Kershaw & Beuhler for games 1 & 2 simply because that wouldn’t line them up for games 5,6 or 7 depending on the circumstances. Then Ryu or Hill or both for a potential game 7.

    Got to be honest, I feel nervous looking ahead to the series. We are gonna need some of our hitters to get hot, and I don’t just means in terms of hitting HRs.
    To be honest though, I’ve got to admit that even being in the WS is a real bonus, because I certainly didn’t see it coming for most of the season.

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