World Series Preview

Jeremy Ganavage, Staff Writer

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After a long regular and postseason, the 114th World Series is set featuring the league’s two best teams. The Boston Red Sox are coming off their most winning season in team history while cruising their way to the Fall Classic. The Dodgers struggled before the all-star break, but with the late acquisition of Manny Machado, caught fire and made their way to the top of the National League.

The Red Sox have been nothing less than dominant this postseason. The offense is generating just over six runs a game while carrying a .253 batting average. Center fielder, Jackie Bradley Jr. completely transformed from his regular season self into a hitting machine. Bradley, who hit less than .160  before the break, leads the team in runs batted in this postseason with nine along with designated hitter J.D. Martinez. The lineup as a whole is clicking and looks to continue their success in the series.

The defense and bullpen for Boston have been just as impressive. The bullpen carries 3.78 ERA and has only allowed 34 runs in their nine postseason games.

Starters Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello are rolling with wins in both of their starts while the bullpen has been holding its own. The big question mark heading into the postseason for the Sox was the pen, which has been quickly answered, with Ryan Brasier pitching seven innings giving up zero runs, while Matt Barnes has given up only one run in 6.1 innings pitched.

The outfield, to no surprise, has played exceptionally well while the whole defense has played clean with only three errors. The only question heading into the Series is their ability to close out games. Closer Craig Kimbrel has been unlike himself pitching to a 7.11 ERA. He will have to improve to beat a talented Dodgers squad.

On the other side of the field are the Dodgers, who are coming off a highly-contested NLCS. Their offense has been consistent with a .218 BA and 43 runs scored in 11 games.

Shortstop, Manny Machado, has led the offense with nine RBI and 11 hits and right fielder Yasiel Puig has 10 hits while batting .333. With Cody Bellinger struggling, Chris Taylor has more than made up for it with his .360 average while scoring six runs.

With Clayton Kershaw, well, being Clayton Kershaw, the pitching on this Dodgers squad could very easily help them win this series. Aside from his first couple of outings at the beginning of the postseason, Kershaw has been dominant, giving up only three hits and one run in his game five win over Milwaukee.

Rich Hill has been the other bright spot on the mound with two wins and a 2.67 ERA.

Defense in the infield has been more than impressive including strong infield play by third baseman Justin Turner and Machado. Elsewhere, the defense has committed seven errors, which will also need to be cleaned up to beat the high powered Red Sox offense.

With both teams playing exceptionally well, it’s hard to choose a winner. But if I had to bet on the series, it would go to the Boston Red Sox. They are dominating every position on the field and have caught fire at the right time.

With David Price finally getting his first win in the postseason and Chris Sale coming back from his game off due to a “rash from a belly button ring,” the Red Sox have everything going for them.

The Dodgers will definitely put up a fight, including a game one match-up for the ages with Sale and Kershaw on the mound. However, I have the Red Sox as the 2018 World Series Champions with a 4-2 series win.