The World Series begins tonight in Boston as the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers will play for a big, shiny trophy. The Red Sox won 108 games during the regular season. They have gone 7-2 in the playoffs thus far, losing just one game in each of the series to the Yankees and Astros. The Dodgers had a tougher go of things in the playoffs after winning 92 games in the regular season. They beat the Braves 3-1 in their opening round series, but had to go to game 7 against the Brewers to continue playing.

On paper, the Boston Red Sox are just a better team. Their offense was better in 2018. And their pitching was better in 2018. But in both cases, the difference was small. And some of that offensive difference gets erased when they have to play on the road in the World Series and lose the designated hitter, while the Dodgers get the benefit of using one in Boston.

Looking at the offenses, the Red Sox have the studs. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are clearly the two best hitters in the World Series. It’s not particularly close. But, the Dodgers lineup top-to-bottom, is strong and has no weaknesses. The Red Sox have several quality hitters behind Betts and Martinez, but the depth isn’t the same as what the Dodgers are bringing to the table.

Game one may feature the best World Series starting pitching match up in the history of the game. Clayton Kershaw takes the mound with the best ERA+ in the history of baseball among pitchers with at least 1400 innings. He’s matched up against Chris Sale, who finds himself at #9 on that same list. During 2018, Sale was the better of the two pitchers. Advantage Red Sox.

But beyond that specific match up, the Dodgers probably hold the edge among the starters, though it’s probably not a big one. The question is, will the starting pitching matter all that much? We’ve seen all postseason that at the first sign of struggles, managers are going to their bullpen. And when that didn’t happen, it bit the team. That may put a lot of emphasis on the bullpens for each team. Much like the starting pitching, it’s close, but I believe the slight edge might actually go to the Dodgers here.

These two teams are matched up, on paper, pretty evenly. But I am going to go with the home field advantage and star power at the top and take the Boston Red Sox. They have the best pitcher in Chris Sale. They’ve got the two best hitters with Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. And they have the home field advantage. In a close match up on paper, those things make the difference in my book. Anything can happen in a best-of-seven series, so you never know. But for me, the Red Sox should be favored here, even if it’s close.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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15 Responses

    • SultanofSwaff

      Given we won’t be in on the top free agent pitching names, I’d like to see the Reds make a run at Eovaldi in the offseason.

      The Dodgers desperately need a 2B and have surplus starting pitching. I’d eat all of Scooter’s salary and throw in a B prospect if we could pry away Ross Stripling or Caleb Ferguson from them.

      • Doug Gray

        Eovaldi’s free agency is fascinating. He’s only been healthy for a full season once in his career. He’s been below-average for his career (96 ERA+), but has had a few seasons of above-average production – with 2018 being arguably his best. But he’s got stuff that will get anyone and everyone excited. There’s a lot of upside there. Will someone pay for that? Or will teams be a bit more cautious given his track record of production being so-so and inconsistent, along with his injury history?

        I’d certainly look at acquiring him. I honestly don’t know how much money or years I’d offer, though. He’s such a strange case.

  1. KyWilson1

    Hope the Dodgers win….. believe it will be the Red Sox in 5.

  2. donny

    I also got the Red Sox in 5.
    i think the Dodgers will win the one game Walker Buehler pitches, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Red Sox sweep.

  3. Wes

    Gonna be on kershaw. If he performs to top of his talent (which he never has in postseason) and wins mvp then it’s all dodgers. His free agent stock will sore then. My guess though is that he’s not clutch and Red Sox win it.

  4. Krozley

    Dodgers imitate the 1990 Reds and shock the world by sweeping the Sox. (my wife is a huge Dodgers fan and now that she is not looking over my shoulder, I say the Sox in 6).

  5. MK

    Don’t really like either team but will probably go NL.

    The talk is the Sox might play Betts at second to keep all big bats in the line-up.

  6. GM/Manager Nep O'Tism

    I think the team that people in 48 of the 50 states don’t like will win, and the team that people don’t like in 48 of the 50 states will lose. Either the 1st payroll in baseball will win, or the 3rd payroll in baseball will win. Neither leaves a great taste in the mouth.

    Can I root for them to just be tied in extra innings in Game 1 eternally until Opening Day so they declare both lose? I would have happily put aside my dislike of Ryan Braun if it meant that the Brewers would have beat the Dodgers and Red Sox.

  7. Colorado Red

    Got the BoSox in 6.
    Better team top to bottom.
    Hate the Dodgers.
    BoSox gave us won great fight in 75.

  8. BurgRed

    Red Sox in 6 Don’t tell my wife! She is a Dodger fan from Burbank.