MLB World Series Preview: A new champion guaranteed in showpiece
Two icons of Baseball will have the chance to get their hands on the commissioner’s trophy once again at the end of this year’s World Series.
The Boston Red Sox brushed aside reigning champs the Houston Astros in the MLB playoffs to take their spot in this historic match-up.
The eight-time winners meet the National League representatives LA Dodgers. After palming away Milwaukee Brewers the Dodgers are 13/10 to win, in what is their second-successive World Series appearance.
With a series that could well spill over into early November, we take a look at where this one could be won and lost.
A historic clash
The two cities have long been rivals on the hardwood, with the NBA Finals featuring numerous Boston Celtics v LA Lakers duels.
But the two sides haven’t met in the Fall Classic since 1916.
The Red Sox are 8/13 favourites two win the trophy they last picked up in 2013.
They recorded a 108-win record which was the best form in the MLB’s regular season.
Interestingly, only seven of the Dodgers’ active roster were born when their team last won the gong back in 1988.
Whatever way the series goes when it begins on Wednesday it is sure to be one that writes its own history.
Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw and Red Sox’ Chris Sale are two of the best starting pitchers of their generation. But how do they compare?
The first question for Sale is how he’ll bounce back from the illness that saw him appear only once in the American League Championship Series win over the Astros.
He did throw 5 1/3 innings of a two-run ball but followed this up with a scoreless innings in the Game 4 clincher to beat the Yankees. The Condor is sure to have a big say in this series.
On the other side of the pitcher’s plate is Kershaw. He’s been having velocity problems with his ‘fastball’ currently at the slowest it’s been in his entire career.
But the Dallas-native dominated games against the Brewers which helped his side earn their spot.
Bats and Balls
The key to the outcome could be whether the Dodgers’ left arm pitchers break down the Red Sox bats.
Boston ranked first in the majors stats against right-handed pitchers but fell to 18th when facing southpaws (left hands).
The Dodgers are likely to put three southpaws in their four-man rotation. Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
If Red Sox hitters of J.D Martinez, Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce can get up ahead of steam, it may not prove a problem after all.
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