With the World Series matchup of Red Sox vs. Dodgers being set in stone, and a couple days separating us from the first game of what should be a real fun series, I can’t help but wonder what the rest of my fellow Red Sox fans think about the games to come.
Common thought on the internet, among fans of most every team, is that the Red Sox are pretty heavy favorites against the Dodgers. This isn’t to say the Dodgers are a bad team, but said common thought was also that whoever came out of the AL slaughterhouse, where you had the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Indians and even Athletics, was going to end up being the team to beat at the end.
The Red Sox were the team fortunate enough to be standing when the dust settled, and had the luxury of watching the Dodgers and Brewers play in games 6 and 7 of their respective Championship Series while they were able to rest their players a little longer. Whether the rest will have a positive effect remains to be seen.
This is an unfamiliar position for the Red Sox this postseason, as at best they were seen as even matches for their opponents. They may have even been seen as heavy underdogs (I did not see very many sane people picking the Red Sox at all, let alone the Red Sox in 5 games). Yet here they are, in a position where the question for many seems to center around the number of games, rather than the winner of the series. I think it’s a bit foolish, since anything can happen in October, but the internet has spoken.
The Dodgers are a good team with a lot of talent. This season, they had exactly one regular offensive player with an OPS+ under 100. Then they traded for Manny Machado. This is a team that is missing Corey Seager, and still has enough potent offensive players to where they shouldn’t be taken so lightly. Their pitching is a bit more suspect, but they still have Clayton Kershaw (who has a 2.37 ERA this post-season - and may have shaken off his David Price-esque post-season failures himself), Walker Buehler, and Kenley Jansen to contend with. I fully believe the Red Sox can hit anyone, and they’ve proven it, but these are not names to be taken lightly.
It’s going to sound super obvious, but all the Red Sox have to do is score more than the other team. I know, this is very cutting-edge analysis, but this series has the potential to be either super bloody with runs scoring all over the place on both sides, or silent with a Kershaw/Sale duel going into the 7th inning of a tense game. If it’s super bloody, the Red Sox have to score 12 runs instead of 10. If it’s knotted up at 0-0, it’s important to get that 2 out hit that they were getting in the Astros series.
In this respect, I believe the Red Sox are the favorites, and I think it’s also likely this series doesn’t go 7 games. They have proven themselves capable of rising to the spotlight, and now that even David Price is showing he can pitch in the postseason the biggest enemy to the Red Sox this series won’t be the Dodgers. It will be the Red Sox themselves. Their approach has worked against the Yankees. It has worked against the Astros. Both of those teams, in my opinion, are better than the Dodgers. We have beaten better teams with this approach.
That’s not to take away from the Dodgers, or their season. After starting 16-26, the Dodgers went 76-45 (.628). That’s very good. It’s incredible. But the Red Sox played .667 baseball.
If the Red Sox maintain their season-long approach, and more importantly, postseason-long approach, this could end up being a short series.
My own prediction is this: the Red Sox are going to win in 6 games. I could see 5, but I feel as if there’s a chance Chris Sale is going to struggle, or that David Price won’t keep his form going into the World Series. One of those two things being wrong is all it could take to go 5 games, and there’s plenty more that could happen. Plus, again, the Dodgers are a good team. To assume it’s going to be a short series is probably disrespectful. They could very well win the whole thing.
So what’s your take? Leave any detailed predictions in the comments below, and vote in the poll attached!
What’s the final result?
This poll is closed
Red Sox in 4
Red Sox in 5
Red Sox in 6
Red Sox in 7
Dodgers in 4
Dodgers in 5
Dodgers in 6
Dodgers in 7
Game 7 never ending, and baseball being caught in a perpetual time-loop.