Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Dodgers faced extreme pressure heading into the seventh game of the National League Championship Series and ended up handling that situation with flying colors.
As a result, the Dodgers are going back to the World Series for the second year in a row.
The Dodgers used a two-run home run from Cody Bellinger in the second inning and a three-run shot from Yasiel Puig in the sixth inning to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 and win the National League pennant. The Dodgers beat the Brewers four games to three in the NLCS.
Walker Buehler gave up a first-inning home run to Christian Yelich, but the Brewers were not able to do any further damage against the 24-year-old righthander and the four Dodgers relievers. Kenley Jansen pitched the seventh and eighth innings in shutdown fashion for the Dodgers, while staff ace Clayton Kershaw finished the job in the ninth.
World Series Schedule
Tuesday, October 23 (Game 1): Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ET
Wednesday, October 24 (Game 2): Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ET
Friday, October 26 (Game 3): Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:09 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 27 (Game 4): Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:09 p.m. ET
Sunday, October 28 (Game 5, if necessary): Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Tuesday, October 30 (Game 6, if necessary): Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ET
Wednesday, October 31 (Game 7, if necessary): Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ET
All World Series games will be televised by Fox.
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Kershaw is the likely starter for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night at Fenway Park in Boston. Chris Sale will start for the Red Sox in that game, and there’s every chance the Fall Classic opener will be a classic pitcher’s duel.
The Red Sox won 108 regular season games and will have homefield advantage throughout the World Series. The Red Sox are attempting to win their fourth World Series title since 2004, while the Dodgers are hoping to make up for last year’s seven-game loss to the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers won the World Series in 1988, and that was the last of their six World Championships. They beat a heavily favored Oakland A’s team in five games, and they are underdogs in this series to the Red Sox.
“It doesn’t matter how you get there, and we are excited,” said Clayton Kershaw in a postgame interview with Tom Verducci on FS1. “When Kenley went in and pitched two innings in the seventh, I thought I might be going in.”
The Red Sox are minus-155 favorites to win the World Series, while the Dodgers are plus-135 underdogs, per OddsShark.
The Dodgers needed to go the limit to win the NLCS, but the Red Sox disposed of the Houston Astros in five game. After splitting the first two games in Boston, the Red Sox swept the three games in Houston to eliminate the defending World Series champions.
The Red Sox had the best offensive team in baseball during the regular season, and their relentless attack was the primary reason they were able to beat the Astros in four straight games following their loss in Game 1.
Jackie Bradley Jr., regularly the ninth-place hitter in the Boston lineup, drove in nine runs against the Astros and won the ALCS Most Valuable Player. He hit a bases-loaded double in Game 2, he hammered a grand slam in Game 3 and followed that with the go-ahead two-run home in Game 4 that proved to be the big hit in that game.
The Red Sox are led Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, who have both been dynamic this season. Betts won the American League batting crown, hit 32 home runs and stole 30 bases. Martinez hammered 43 homers and drove in a major-league best 130 runs.
The Red Sox also depend on Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and third baseman Rafael Devers.
The Dodgers will try to counter with Justin Turner, Manny Machado, Bellinger and Puig.
These two franchises last met in the World Series in 1916. At that time, the Dodgers were known as the Robins, and they played in Brooklyn. The Red Sox defeated the Brooklyn Robins four games to one.
After losing the World Series in heartbreaking fashion to the Astros last year, the Dodgers will try to make the Red Sox feel their pain this time around.