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The 2018 Major League Baseball playoffs has seen many close, drama-filled games as the World Series starts to approach. Both League Championship Series hold the possibility of either team going to the World Series, and is sure to bring more exciting baseball.
In the American League Championship Series, you have a matchup against two powerhouse teams – the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros. Houston – the defending World Series champions – won 103 games, winning the AL West. The Red Sox had the most wins in the MLB this regular season, winning the AL East with 108. While the Astros swept the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series, the Sox had an exciting Division Series against their arch rival – the New York Yankees – that they won 3-1. If the Red Sox win tonight, then they will advance to the World Series.
Meanwhile, the National League Championship Series has seen a back-and-forth contest between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Brewers clinched the best National League record and won the NL Central, while the Dodgers clinched the NL West division. The Brewers swept the Colorado Rockies in the Division Series, while the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 to advance to the NLCS. The two teams are currently caught up in a battle for the National League spot in the World Series. Each team one a game to start with, and there have been three games where the winning team has won by one point.
While the teams continue to fight it out in the Championship Series, here’s a look at the World Series schedule, format, odds, and a prediction for the matchup.
World Series Schedule
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 23
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 24
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 26
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 27
Game 5*: Sunday, Oct. 28
Game 6*: Tuesday, Oct. 30
Game 7*: Wednesday, Oct. 31
Schedule information is courtesy of MLB.com. All games will be televised on Fox and the start times are still to be determined.
World Series Format
The World Series is a best-of-seven format in a 2-3-2 schedule.
From 2003-2016, home-field advantage in the World Series was decided by the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game.
However, that all changed prior to the 2017 season, resulting in home-field advantage being determined by winning percentage. Home field – Games 1-2 and 6-7 if necessary – goes to the team that had the higher regular-season winning percentage, regardless of Wild Card or Division Series results.
The Red Sox (108-54) would enjoy home field advantage over either the Brewers (96-67) or the Dodgers (92-71). Likewise, the Astros (103-59) – if they won the next three games to make it to the World Series – would have home-field advantage over the Brewers or the Dodgers.
Courtesy of MLB News.
World Series Odds
Here are the most up-to-date World Series odds from OddsShark, courtesy of Bovada, as of Thursday at 12 p.m. ET:
Boston Red Sox: -105 (0.95:1 odds)
LA Dodgers: +185 (1.85:1 odds)
Milwaukee Brewers: +800 (8:1 odds)
Houston Astros: +850 (8.5:1 odds)
The World Series prediction is the Boston Red Sox facing off against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Red Sox securing games 1 and 2, as well as 6 and 7 if needed, at home.
The Red Sox have been a force to be reckoned with this season, with 108 wins through the regular season and some incredible performances so far in the off season. If you need further proof of how the Red Sox perform in game-ending situations like last night, take a look at Andrew Benintendi’s catch that stopped the Astros from potentially tying or winning the game in the bottom of the ninth:
.@RedSox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione got so excited during the final play, he literally fell out of his seat.
Can you believe it? 😂 😂 😂 https://t.co/HdMe6upUpF
Needless to say, the Red Sox are a team of all-stars. On the offensive side, the trio of J.D. Martinez, Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. have come out swinging, literally. Benintendi leads the team in runs in the postseason, Martinez had eight RBI and a homer, and Bradley has nine RBI and two home runs.
Pitchers Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes have played seven and six games, respectively, and both have ERAs of 0.00 in the postseason. Both pitchers have average around 7 strikeouts per nine innings, and have only walked 4 each. Chris Sale, while boasting an ERA of 3.48, leads the Boston bullpen in strikeouts in the postseason with 14.
In the National League, you have a Los Angeles Dodgers team that boasts 10 home runs in the postseason, but only 36 runs and 35 RBI, compared to Boston’s 52 and 49, respectively. The Dodgers’ Manny Machado has proven to be a beast in the playoffs, with nine RBI and three homeruns in the nine games he has played. Max Muncy joins him with two homers and six runs.
LA has relied heavily on its pitchers in the postseason. The bullpen held the Braves to two scoreless games in the Division Series and has only allowed the Brewers more than four runs in one game – the opener that they lost 5-6. In the last two games against the Brewers, the Dodgers have held Milwaukee to one and two points. In Game 3, Clayton Kershaw pitched through seven innings and gave up one earned run. In the three games Kershaw has started, his record is 2-1 and he has 14 strikeouts.
Stats By STATS @StatsBySTATS
Clayton Kershaw joins Jim Palmer (1971 Orioles), Don Drysdale (1963 @Dodgers), and Bill Dinneen (1903 Americans) as the only players with 2+ walks (batting) and 9+ strikeouts (pitching) in a #postseason game all-time.
Pitchers Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen, and Dylan Floro have all played at least five games and have ERAs of 0.00 in the postseason. Baez has averaged 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings in the postseason, while Jansen has averaged around 11 and Floro 9.
While the Red Sox have offensive power, the LA bullpen has been on a hot streak and boasts impressive stats in the postseason. The two teams will make a great matchup and provide for a World Series that is both fun to watch and competitive, as their games will have both incredible pitching, fielding, and batting.