Who will win the 2018 Baseball World Series?
World Series Bullet Points
- Dodgers last World Series appearance 2017, all-time record 6-13
- Red Sox last World Series appearance 2013, all-time record 8-4
- Dodgers, Red Sox last played in 2016
- NL won six of last ten World Series
- Hitters won eight of last nine World Series MVPs.
World Series Predictions
After seven months, the World Series is finally here, with the Boston Red Sox opening as the favourites to win their ninth World Series in franchise history. The Red Sox looked unstoppable in their 4-1 series win over the Houston Astros, with their starting pitching looking much better than many expected in that series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers eked out a tight 4-3 series win over the Milwaukee Brewers, to advance to their second straight World Series. The Dodgers leaned heavily on their bullpen in their win over Milwaukee, with the unit allowing only five earned runs over 29 innings pitched.
While the Red Sox only batted .233 in their ALCS victory, timely hitting was the bigger story. Jackie Bradley Jr. won the ALCS MVP despite batting just .200. His nine RBIs on only three hits helped the Red Sox overcome Houston’s excellent starting pitching. If JBJ carries over his ALCS performance, the Red Sox lineup may prove too much for the Dodgers.
Even though the Dodgers bullpen was vital in their NLCS victory, the NLCS MVP went to Cody Bellinger. Like JBJ for Boston, Bellinger batted only .200, but key RBIs in big situation helped the youngster win the award.
This matchup should come down to starting pitching and bullpen. Each team had the best offence this season in their league, and there is little doubt that both lineups can produce.
The strong performance of the Dodgers bullpen against Milwaukee is indeed something to consider in this series. The Red Sox bullpen is shakier and closer Craig Kimbrel looks like he could lose control at any moment. The Dodgers have a better defence in their middle infielder, something also overlooked when talking about how great Boston is as a team.
The Red Sox still have some issues in their pitching staff outside of Chris Sale. While David Price finally got the monkey off his back in the ALCS, he is historically one of the worst postseason pitchers of all time.
The Red Sox hitting has been able to carry the team through any issue they the team has had fielding or pitching. However, in the pitching-friendly ballpark that is Dodgers Stadium, the offence may produce at a lower rate than it has throughout the year.
Overall, the Dodgers are as talented as the Red Sox. They have the best pitcher in the matchup and their offence is barely a notch below the Red Sox. Their bullpen should help them even if they do not get the best out of their starters, something the Red Sox cannot say the same. Look for a great series with the Dodgers snapping their 30-year World Series drought.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers +125 to win the 2018 World Series
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World Series MVP Picks
Since either team can win this World Series (which is usually the case) we have the best player to wager will win World Series MVP if their team wins the World Series.
*Odds for winners unavailable at the time of publishing will be available before the start of the World Series on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
For the Dodgers to win the World Series, they will need two dominant starts from Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has never been the best postseason pitcher, with a postseason ERA 1.80 points higher than his regular season ERA.
However, Kershaw has shown growth in recent years. His ERA this postseason is 2.37 (in 19 innings pitched). For the Dodgers to win, they need at least two quality starts out of Kershaw. If he can put together two great starts (which he has already done this postseason), and the Dodgers win the World Series, he will take home the MVP.
Boston Red Sox – J.D. Martinez
With some historical success against the Dodgers (11 extra-base hits in 20 games) and some great plate discipline this postseason (seven walks to only four strikeouts in nine games) Martinez is a good bet to win World Series MVP for the Boston Red Sox.
Martinez popped 43 home runs and an AL-leading 130 RBIs. While his performance this postseason has been good, he is due for some more power in the World Series. Power bats have a history of winning the World Series MVP. George Springer did it last year for the Astros, despite some good pitching stats from Justin Verlander.
Overall, Martinez seems due for some more power than he has shown in the Red Sox first two series. Anything more than two home runs and six RBIs (something he could do while hitting at home and in sunny Los Angeles) would likely get him enough MVP votes to take home the trophy.
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