The 300s Red Sox vs Dodgers World Series Preview

It’s been a grueling five year drought, but the Red Sox are finally back in the World Series and they’re taking on the Brooklyn LA Dodgers. The last time the Red Sox won the World Series was 2013 in one of the most unlikely championship runs I’ve ever seen. With the rallying cry of Boston Strong as their mantra, a group of journeymen having career years led the way. This year was just a little bit different as the Sox set a franchise record with 108 wins in the regular season and won the division running away. Now they’re just four wins away from their 4th championship in the past 15 years.

You can also listen to Big Z and I preview the World Series on The 300s Podcast here.

Game Times:

  • Game 1 (at BOS): Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 8:09 p.m. ET on Fox
  • Game 2 (at BOS): Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8:09 p.m. ET on Fox
  • Game 3 (at LAD): Friday, Oct. 26 at 8:09 p.m. ET on Fox
  • Game 4 (at LAD): Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8:09 p.m. ET on Fox
  • *Game 5 (at LAD): Sunday, Oct. 28 at 8:15 p.m. ET on Fox
  • *Game 6 (at BOS): Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 8:09 p.m. ET on Fox
  • *Game 7 (at BOS): Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 8:09 p.m. ET on Fox

*If necessary

Betting Lines:

  • Opening odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook
    • Red Sox at -135 and the Dodgers at +115.
  • Gambling.com World Series MVP prop bets
    • Mookie Betts +550
    • Chris Sale +600
    • JD Martinez +650

Top Storylines:

ESPN noted in its preview that if the Red Sox win the World Series it may be one of the most impressive runs of all time. After winning 108 games to set a franchise record, they went through TWO other 100 win teams to reach the World Series.

Only five teams since 1961 have won at least 108 games and won the World Series:

1998 New York Yankees: 114-48
1961 New York Yankees: 109-53
1970 Baltimore Orioles: 108-54
1975 Cincinnati Reds: 108-54
1986 New York Mets: 108-54

The Red Sox, arguably, will have had the toughest trek through the postseason of any of these teams. Only the ’98 Yankees had to go through three rounds, but the Red Sox had to knock off the 100-win Yankees and 103-win Astros just to reach the World Series — and did so by winning seven of nine games.

Mookie at Second Base?

He’s actually played there more than I thought in his career with 15 games played at 2B, but only about half of one game since 2014. So besides the almost non-existant experience at the major league level, this is moronic for one reason; he is an ELITE outfielder. As Big Z said on The 300s Podcast, you literally hit the instant replay jackpot and stole an out with this play in Houston.

Mookie is such a great outfielder that Cowboy Joe West ruled, from 50 yards away, that he was definitively going to make one of the greatest catches in postseason history were it not for fan interference. Not to mention his canon of an arm that led to him hosing down Jose Altuve at second base, his other leaping catch to rob a HR etc. etc. Yea, lets not get cute boys.

Who Plays and Who Sits in Los Angeles?

With the NL stripping us of the DH, who are you sitting? JD Martinez and Mookie obviously aren’t sitting so are you benching the .185 hitter in Jackie Bradley Jr. and putting Andrew Benintendi in center or are you riding JBJ’s hot streak? I mean when that guy gets hot he gets HOT, he’ll hit .150 for 4 months then hit .500 for a month straight so maybe he’s in the middle of one of those heaters? Lets play it by ear and see how JBJ and Benintendi play at Fenway in Games 1 and 2, but I’m leaning towards benching Bradley in LA and using him as a defensive replacement late in games. 

Chris Sale’s Health

He already was dealing with the shoulder issue and now he was out with this bizarre stomach issue. The beat guys were saying that he was walking around with a bottle of pedialyte and that he even lost weight somehow. I don’t know how you can’t be concerned. We saw in his first start off the DL against the Orioles were he struck out 13 guys…before relapsing and only throwing about 15 innings the rest of the season, and then again in his first postseason start where he started off lights out against the Yankees before faltering. I think with the extended time off Chris Sale will look pretty good in Game 1, but to expect much more than that afterwards is asking a lot considering all the ailments he’s been dealing with. 

Has David Price Actually Exorcised His Playoff Demons?

I hope so. I hope whatever mechanical adjustment he figured out before his Game 5 start gives him the confidence and the momentum he needs to repeat the success of his last start. However, he is currently sporting a 5.11 ERA this postseason, which is actually even worse than his career 5.04 ERA in the postseason. Soo I think its a shaky bridge that I am cautiously optimistic about, but far from confident.

YUCK Stickers are now available just in case.

Manny Machado, Still a Dirtbag

Matt Barnes still wants Machado dead for possibly ending Dustin Pedroia’s career last year with a dirty slide.

“You’re talking about a play in which Pedey still hasn’t played since then, really,” Barnes said per The Eagle-Tribune. “When you take out a captain, a leader of a team, that’s not going to sit well with anybody. It kind of is what it is. You move on. I don’t see anything happening, I really don’t, but it doesn’t mean that we’ve forgotten about it.”

Big Z and I wondered aloud if the Sox get up big in a clinching game, do they send out Joe Kelly to just bean Machado in the ass to take care of some family business? Whether Pedroia wants it or not, justice will be served (again).

Yasiel Puig is GOOD for Baseball

In a sport full of late starts, long games, and older fans, Yasiel Puig is exactly what baseball needs. He is the anti-Mike Trout. He is fun as all hell to watch. While Peter Gammons might not exactly enjoy Puig rounding the bases after a HR telling everyone to suck it like he’s a member of DX, I sure as shit do.

Will We See Regular Season Kershaw or Postseason Kershaw?

Kershaw is essentially the west coast version of David Price. While he’s been pretty good in the playoffs this year with a 2-1 record and a 2.37 ERA , overall for his career he is 9-8 with 4.09 ERA in 141 postseason IP. His career postseason stats are about a full seasons worth with 28 starts, which is a good sample size. While a 4.09 ERA is far from disastrous, it’s definitely not the quote unquote best pitcher of our generation. Kershaw seems to be on a roll this year, but I would not be surprised if a guy from Texas who’s played his entire career in LA suddenly pitching in 30 degree weather in Fenway in October rattles him.

Lets All Just Appreciate Justin Turner

As a fellow redhead with a Wildling-esque beard, I am a huge Justin Turner guy. Really putting redheads on the map the past couple of years.

MVP

I’m going with Nathan Eovaldi because he has been an absolute saving grace for this Red Sox team and he is a guy that will pitch Game 3 and a potential Game 7, not to mention any random relief appearances Cora utilizes him for. I know only 3 pitchers have won the World Series MVP in the past 15 years, but if you win Game 3 and Game 7 it would be hard to not give that guy the award. It also doesn’t hurt that Gambling.com has Eovaldi at +2200 to win series MVP!

Unsung Hero

I’m going with Rafael Devers. Cora played the matchups with Devers in the ALCS, which had Devers on the bench to start the series before giving way to the young gun in Game 5 and he took Verlander deep. So I know Cora has been leaning on the analytics but Devers has looked great in his limited playing time. Granted he only has 20 AB’s, Devers is actually second on the team in Batting Avg at .350 so I think he’s a pretty good bet to make an impact in this series.

 

Official Prediction

I’m picking the Red Sox in 7 games. They just have the IT factor this year, they have the juice, whatever you want to call it. The bullpen is cobbled together with bubble gum and duct tape, they have a guy in Ryan Brasier who was pitching in JAPAN last year holding it down as the setup man. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working AND apparently Eric Gagne has fixed Craig Kimbrel. Not to mention every decision Alex Cora makes just seems to be the right one. So if the Red Sox can get decent starts from their rotation then I think the offense carries this team the rest of the way. 

Sox in 7.

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