Will the Red Sox be Able to “Do Damage” Against the Dodgers and Win the World Series?

Cameron Mays ‘21

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The pinnacle of the 2018 MLB season has arrived at last. While all teams started at the bottom of the mountain on game one, only two have been able to make it to the top, and only one will stay there. Many teams looked like they could conquer the mountain, but instead faltered; some looked like they would falter, but they instead made it farther than any expectations.

 

In the beginning of the season, many had high expectations for The Boston Red Sox, as they  picked up all-star slugger JD Martinez from the Diamondbacks, and boasting an impressive starting rotation that included Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, and David Price. While some things did not go according to plan, including the release of Hanley Ramirez, and a knee-surgery for second baseman Dustin Pedroia, they have steamrolled their opponents through the regular season. Currently, they are looking for their fourth World Series title since 2000 and their first since 2013.

 

Additionally, many also had high expectations for The Los Angeles Dodgers in April.. Having lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros in seven games, they are focused on getting back into the World Series where they might get their first win since 1988. They started the season with much of the same team that came close to winning it all last year, but at the trade deadline, they added the former Baltimore Oriole all-star infielder and slugger, Manny Machado. They hope to use him as a “rental” player for this year, as he only has one year on his contract, to win the World Series, and try to convince him to sign a longer contract during the off-season.

 

The Red Sox started the playoffs against the 100 win Yankees, where they defeated them three games to one. Then, against the defending champion Astros, they won in five games.

 

After clinching a berth in the World Series, the ALCS MVP, Jackie Bradley Jr. said on the TBS broadcast, “The approach is just try to do everything you possibly can to help the team out. I happened to come up in some big opportunities, big moments, and I was able to cash in on those moments.” This has been the storyline for much of the year, as the Red Sox continue to take advantage of all big opportunities that come their way.

 

Their catch phrase, “Do Damage” has defined their whole season, and they are still going strong through the playoffs. During the ALDS and ALCS, they have scored 56 runs in 9 games, with the most coming in a 16-1 win over the Yankees in game three of the ALDS. They have also been doing damage with two outs, an amazing skill for any team to have. They amassed 24 runs with two men out which is just over 40% of their total runs scored in the playoffs.

 

Compared to the Dodgers, who only won 92 games, the Red Sox, who won 108, have the advantage from a surface level. The Sox coasted to the pennant while the Dodgers competed with both the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks to make the playoffs at all. The Red Sox also scored 872 runs this year and only gave up 647 compared to the Dodgers who scored 804 runs and gave up 610. While they scored more runs, some might say that they gave up more than the Dodgers too, but in the AL which has the designated hitter, (a player that only bats, usually for the pitcher, so there is more run production) those 37 runs are negligible.

 

Will O’Malley, ‘21, explains why he thinks the Red Sox will win: “The Red Sox have the best team batting average, most RBIs [runs batted in], and hits”. Their high batting average shows that they are not relying on just a few of their top hitters to produce, but can expect offense from the whole team. There high RBIs shows that they score lots of runs per game (obviously), and the high amounts of hits, including the most doubles, demonstrates that they do not have to hit home runs to win, although they frequently do that too.

 

However, the Red Sox have the some of worst hitting in the league against off speed pitches from left handers, and the Dodgers happen two have three great left handed pitches in Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Rich Hill. This could pose a threat for the Red Sox because Kershaw and Hill are great pitchers anyway, and do not give up many runs. Alex Corra, the Red Sox manager will have to decide how to work his batting average to maximize offense.

 

Many experts believe that the Red Sox will win in five or six games. They are unlikely to sweep the series because they have to play in Los Angeles, and there is always the home team advantage that they have to fight against. Six games might be a stretch because the Sox are just a much better team, but the Dodgers will be able to compete because they will have an advantage when Kershaw pitches.

 

Marly Rivera of ESPN explained why he picked the Red Sox is six:“They have a much more complete lineup, as well as better overall pitching than the Dodgers. The Red Sox also have a better defense, and I think that will play a big factor in this series, as it did against the Astros.”

 

On the other hand, David Schoenfield, a ESPN senior writer believes the Dodgers will win in seven games because, “The Red Sox hit much better against right-handed pitching this year, so L.A.’s lefty starters — not to mention the plus-plus stuff of Walker Buehler — could be an advantage for the Dodgers.”

 

I’ll let you decide who you want to win, but evidence points toward the Red Sox. Whoever you root for, it is sure to be a great series with great hitting, pitching, and fielding- not to mention an electrifying crowd.

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