Matt Slocum/Associated Press
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have 33 World Series appearances between them, but the 2018 World Series is just their second meeting in the Fall Classic.
The World Series, which begins Tuesday at Fenway Park, is the first championship series meeting since 1916 between the pair of storied franchises.
Boston’s been one of the most successful teams over the last 20 years, as it won the 2004, 2007 and 2013 titles.
The Dodgers, who are in search of their first title since 1988, are the third team to reach back-to-back World Series since 2010.
As Tuesday inches closer, we’ll know more about how each team will approach the series, but for now, we have an idea of what will occur when the series opens in Boston.
2018 World Series Schedule
All Times ET.
Game 1: Tuesday, October 23 (8:09 p.m,., Fox)
Game 2: Wednesday, October 24 (8:09 p.m., Fox)
Game 3: Friday, October 26 (8:09 p.m,, Fox)
Game 4: Saturday, October 27 (8:09 p.m., Fox)
Game 5: Sunday, October 28 (8:15 p.m., Fox)*
Game 6: Tuesday, October 30 (8:09 p.m., Fox)*
Game 7: Wednesday, October 31 (8:09 p.m., Fox)*
Sale, Kershaw In Line To Start Game 1
The World Series pitching matchups haven’t been released yet, but with the way the ALCS and NLCS played out, Game 1 could feature a battle of two of baseball’s top pitchers.
Boston ace Chris Sale only pitched in Game 1 of the ALCS, which leads us to believe he’ll be more than fresh for the World Series opener Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Elise Amendola/Associated Press
On the other hand, Kershaw started two games for the Dodgers in the NLCS, but since he started Game 5, he should be ready to go on regular rest.
The one inning Kershaw threw at the conclusion of Game 7 Saturday came on a day in which Kershaw was going to through a bullpen session anyway.
Over the last two postseasons, the pair of left-handed aces have been sharp for their respective sides, which leads us to believe a pitcher’s duel will break in Game 1.
In his last three playoff starts, Sale’s given up two earned runs and he tossed a scoreless inning in relief in Game 4 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
Kershaw’s made eight starts and two relief appearances in the postseason in 2017 and 2018 and he’s achieved a 5-1 record in those outings.
The left-handed Dodgers ace was roughed up for six earned runs in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series by the Houston Astros, but other than that, Kershaw hasn’t given up more than four earned runs during that span.
If both pitchers throw the way they should in Game 1, the Fall Classic will open with a low-scoring affair that will be decided in the end by the bullpens.
Boston Appears To Enter With More Prolific Offense
On paper, the Red Sox have the more threatening offense of the two World Series participants.
Boston averaged 5.8 runs per game in the ALCS, while the Dodgers managed 3.2 runs per game in the NLCS.
Even though Boston played two fewer games than Los Angeles, those numbers are still a good indication of what each lineup is capable of producing.
In the NLCS, the Dodgers didn’t score over five runs, while the Red Sox eclipsed that total in three of their four victories.
However, if you look a bit deeper, the offensive numbers of the two teams in the LCS are more similar.
Both teams hit five home runs in the second round of the postseason and they each had at least nine players knock in a run.
Boston hit .233 as a team against the Astros, while the Dodgers were .223 at the dish versus Milwaukee.
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The World Series numbers for both teams should be right around their LCS totals given the amount of in-form pitchers on each side.
The one factor that could play a role early in the series is the unfamiliarity between the two sides. Most of the Red Sox hitters don’t have a wealth of experience against the Dodgers pitchers and vice versa.
Manny Machado is the only player with an advantage at the plate because he spent six seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.