Preview: Dodgers at Red Sox
The Los Angeles Dodgers are back in the World Series for the second straight season and the Boston Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 games this year. The powerful teams begin pursuit of a championship when the Red Sox host the Dodgers on Tuesday in Game 1 of the Fall Classic at Fenway Park.
Boston is searching for its fourth World Series crown in 15 years while the Dodgers are attempting to end a title drought that dates to 1988. Left-handers Chris Sale (Red Sox) and Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles) square off in the opener of the best-of-7 series in which Boston is viewed as favorites. “I like the underdog role,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at Monday’s press conference. “I do know that everyone in our clubhouse doesn’t see it as icing on the cake. It’s been our goal since last year to win a World Series. So it’s a good club over there but we still like our guys, and it’s going to be a good one.” The Red Sox rolled through the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in five games in the American League Championship Series while Los Angeles prevailed in seven games over the Milwaukee Brewers on the National League side.
TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.37 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Chris Sale (1-0, 3.48)
Kershaw will be pitching at Fenway Park for the first time during a stellar career that includes three NL Cy Young Awards. “I don’t really think about that stuff,” Kershaw said during a press conference. “I appreciate the history and everything that goes along with Fenway Park. … Check this one off as far as pitching (Tuesday), but I don’t really think about the history part of it too much, honestly.” The 30-year-old Kershaw has experienced mixed results in the postseason and stands 9-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 28 career appearances (22 starts).
Sale will be pitching for the first time in 10 days and said he is fully healthy now after his mysterious stomach ailment that led to him being hospitalized and missing a start in the ALCS. “There’s no holding back now, I think,” Sale said during a press conference while sidestepping questions about the stomach. “My job’s been the same since the first day I got here. You hand me the ball when you want me to throw it, and take it out of my hand when you want me to stop.” The 29-year-old Sale is 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA in five career postseason appearances (three starts).
1. Two left-handers will again match up in Wednesday’s Game 2 as Roberts tabbed Hyun-Jin Ryu to start and Red Sox manager Alex Cora chose David Price.
2. RF Mookie Betts continues to work out at second base as Boston looks to get DH J.D. Martinez into the lineup in an outfield spot when the series moves to Dodger Stadium for Games 3-5.
3. Matt Kemp will serve as Los Angeles DH with the opener being in an AL ballpark.