All eyes across the baseball world will be squarely set on Fenway Park on this upcoming Tuesday night when the Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series. It’s not a huge shock to see either one of these teams playing for the Commissioner’s Trophy this year. Both teams were considered major favorites to make it to the playoffs and when you consider the talent that’s present in each clubhouse, it’s still not shocking to see that these teams were the ones who were able to run the gauntlet and make it to the Fall Classic.
Still, the path that both of these teams took to the World Series couldn’t be any more different. For the Red Sox, most of this season has seen them embark on a path of destruction that only a few teams could hope to slow down. They exited April with a 21-7 record and virtually went wire-to-wire in a division that included another team that won 100 games.
Boston fans were treated to watching Mookie Betts take his game to a new level and seeing the Red Sox’s offense in general just completely annihilate everything in their path. Combine that with Chris Sale leading the pitching staff to excellence and it’s easy to see why this team won 108 games and went 7-2 against two teams with a combined 203 wins between them.
Then we have the Dodgers, who decided to take the scenic route to the World Series. As Eric Stephen noted, they got off to a rough start and found themselves in a major hole. However, they eventually clawed their way out of that hole to make it above .500 and then competed for a divisional title down the stretch, eventually winning it in Game 163. They ended up having to go four games against the Braves in the NLDS and were pushed to the limit by the Brewers before pulling off a comfortable win on the road in Game 7.
So now, we’re about to see which path leads to a trophy. Will the Red Sox continue riding on a smoothly-paved highway to success? Or will Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig and the rest Dodgers prove that traversing the country back roads is actually the right way to go? We won’t have to wait too long to find out.
- Yasiel Puig played very well in Game 7 of the NLCS and his seventh-inning dinger was basically what stamped the Dodgers’ ticket to the World Series. He also celebrated wildly throughout the entire game and as Whitney McIntosh pointed out, it’s fantastic.
- A little while before Puig delivered his big fly, Chris Taylor made the biggest play of the game and arguably the biggest play of the series. Christian Yelich came inches away from potentially breaking the game open for the Brewers, but instead he had to watch helplessly as Taylor robbed him.
- Cody Bellinger had a walk-off moment in Game 4 and he hit the home run that put the Dodgers ahead for good in Game 7. He will now have a shiny piece of personal hardware after being named NLCS MVP.
- Manny Machado has fully embraced his baseball villainy, as he and Yasiel Puig did their best D-Generation X impression any time they were on the basepaths during Game 7. The livid Milwaukee crowd did leave a positive impression on Machado, though.
- Losing Game 7 is always a bitter pill to swallow. Devan Fink of Beyond the Box Score thinks that the Brewers will have to down a particularly nasty-tasting pill since he believes that Milwaukee mismanaged Josh Hader and hurt themselves.
- Meanwhile, the Red Sox were probably watching the game and hoping that it went 47 innings. That would give them even more time to plan for the World Series, and part of those plans may include playing Mookie Betts at second base.
- This seems like a convenient time to look at Boston’s platoons and that’s exactly what Over The Monster did.
- Outside of the playoffs, the Reds became popular on the rumor mill when multiple writers indicated that Cincinnati may be leaning towards making David Bell their new manager.
- Relative to his lofty standards, Jose Altuve had a slow second half of the season. We now have a reason for that: He suffered a knee injury in July and is only just now having surgery for it.
- The incredibly garish fish sculpture at Marlins Park will not be there in 2019. I suppose that this was a small price for the Marlins to pay for being able to sign talented international prospects Víctor Víctor Mesa and Víctor Mesa Jr. to contracts.