We now know who will play in the World Series – the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox. But of course, we won’t know who is going to win. What is interesting is that both of these teams have been playing baseball for a really long time. The Dodgers started playing in 1884, and the Red Sox began their journey in 1901. While that in itself isn’t interesting, when you add the fact that the two teams have only played each other in the postseason once, this upcoming series gets taken to a whole new level. The last time these two teams met, the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins and Babe Ruth pitched all 14 innings in order to win Game 2 of the Fall Classic. Can they channel Babe Ruth and bring it home again?
The Dodgers lost in Game 7 of the World Series last year, and haven’t won the series since 1988, which leads us to believe that the answer to that question might be no. The Red Sox, however, took down the Houston Astros this year definitely have a shot. Why? Well, the Astros were the team that beat the Dodgers during last year’s series, so if we base it on that alone, it sounds like the Red Sox are a better team. That’s definitely not how predictions are made, so let’s take a deeper look at this.
- The Red Sox gave the Astros a run for their money which included 29 runs in five games. Houston had not allowed seven runs in three consecutive games this year until the ALCS. Maybe it should not have come as a surprise given the Red Sox led the major leagues in virtually every important offensive category this season.
What is surprising is that Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez did not carry the Red Sox during this series at all. It was more Jackie Bradley Jr., who won the LCS MVP by getting in nine runs, all with two outs – which is one short of Yogi Berra’s record in 1956, for the most two-out RBIs in a postseason series. What is the secret to the 2018 Red Sox offense? They don’t look intimidating, and yet they always seem to produce. The Red Sox are especially good at home, where they went 57-24 this season, which was the best record in the major leagues.
- The Red Sox have the best defensive outfield in the game. They start three center fielders – Andrew Benintendi in left field, Bradley in center and Betts in right. Bradley might win a Gold Glove this season. In Game 4 of the ALCS, Betts, the best defensive right fielder in the game, turned a home run by Jose Altuve into an interference call by leaping above the right field fence to make an attempted catch. Benintendi saved that game with a diving catch with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Last, but not least, this team seems to just gel in a way that is difficult to explain or even quantify. This, in my opinion, is needed for any team or even partnership to succeed. It might sound obvious and even a bit cliche, but if you’re not on the same page, how can you expect to be a great team? While I do not have a crystal ball, nor can I tell the future, I do think that the Red Sox have a chance at the pennant, and it’s for these reasons. That said, the Dodgers are also a good team and they could certainly bring it home as well. I’m looking forward to seeing who ends up on top in this matchup.