It’s that time of year again! The World Series of Baseball is about to settle in for the first pitch of the series tonight at 7:09pm ET. It’s the Boston Red Sox vs the LA Dodgers and we are breaking down their road to the most important games of the season, complete with free betting tips to help you find the value bets!
The Red Sox had the best record in Major League Baseball this season with 108 wins and 54 losses. It was a banner year for the Sox as they broke their previous club record for number of wins in a season, which was 105 set in way back in 1912!
In their 3rd consecutive post season campaign, the Red Sox took down the New York Yankees for the American League Division Series. They outscored their long time rivals 31-10 over 4 games, including an embarrassing 16-1 trouncing at Yankee Stadium.
They then moved on to defeat the defending World Series Champions, the Houston Astros, who were last season’s Cinderella story. The shoe did not fit this time around, as the Sox edged out the Astros in 5.
This is the 13th time the Red Sox have appeared in the World Series, and if it plays out correctly, they could be hoisting the trophy on Halloween night. Could this be lucky #13? In 2004, the Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino and finally won a World Series after 86 years. Since then, they’ve won it twice: in 2007 and again in 2013.
This Red Sox squad is ready for anything. Their offense has been lights out the whole season, setting the pace for the American League for most runs scored (876) and allowing the second fewest runs (647). This regular season, three time All-Star Chris Sale averaged an unbelievable 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings and J.D. Martinez batted .330 with 130 RBI. Marinez also had 43 homers in the regular season, coming in second only by a handful. Mookie Betts is another player to watch out for. The right fielder is a powerhouse of hitting and fielding.
Mookie Betts, RF
Andrew Benintendi, LF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Steve Pearce, 1B
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Sandy Leon, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Sale, P
This power lineup could see a big change in Game 3, when the series heads to the National League stadium in LA, where the designated hitter position doesn’t exist. There are talks of putting Betts in at second so he and Martinez will both be able to play.
The LA Dodgers are coming in as underdogs for this World Series campaign, but they are not going to make it easy for the Red Sox by any means. They finished the regular season with 92 wins and 71 losses. They were forced to have a tie-breaker for the National League West title and beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 to advance to the playoffs.
Their postseason was hard fought, first beating the Atlanta Braves in 4 and then outlasting the Milwaukee Brewers in an intense 7 game series to take their second consecutive pennant. Last year, they lost against the Astros in the World Series and will be looking to find redemption with the Sox this year.
The Dodgers are no strangers to the big dance as a franchise, having gotten there 19 times and winning 6 of those. Their last World Series win came in 1988 during the Tommy Lasorta era.
Like the Red Sox, the Dodgers led their league in runs scored, with seven players reaching 20-plus home runs. Outfielder Chris Taylor leads the team in postseason batting average at .360 and shortstop Manny Machado tallied 3 homers, 11 hits, and 9 RBI this October.
Watch out for lefty pitcher and 3-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who will start Game 1 for LA. He’s 2-1 this postseason with a 2.37 ERA and an impressive 0.79 WHIP. He is also the MVP favorite with 9/1 odds at BetOnline.
Chris Taylor, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
David Freese, 1B
Manny Machado, SS
Matt Kemp, DH
Brian Dozier, 2B
Cody Bellinger, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Austin Barnes, C
Clayton Kershaw, P
It’s been over a century since these two teams met in the Fall Classic. In 1916, when the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins, the Boston Red Sox won the series in 5 games. Each club has had their successes and their power eras, but they have rarely gone up against eachother. It’s been 8 years since the Dodgers have been to Fenway and 2 years since the Sox visited LA, where they lost the series 2-1.
Before placing your World Series bets, there are a few outside factors you need to think about.
The Weather: Los Angeles is way different than Boston this time of year and Game 1’s forecast calls for heavy rain and a high of 55F. It’s been 25+ degrees warmer on the other side of the country. So the Dodgers could be a little uncomfortable in the cold on the East coast.
Home Field Advantage: Boston had the best record in the majors this year, so they are awarded home field advantage. The first 2 games will be at Fenway Park before heading over to Dodger Stadium for 3 games. If needed, the final 2 games will be held back in Boston. And of course, Boston is home to the Green Monster, the 37.2 feet high wall looming in left field that steals homers, but seems to generate more doubles. Fenway is the second best ballpark for hitters (but third worst for home runs). The Sox also won 57 games at home this season, the most of any team. On the other hand, Dodger Stadium is a great place for pitchers, coming in as the fifth best park for hurlers.
Left-Handed Pitchers: Both starting pitchers for Game 1 will be left-handed. On average, batters have a harder time against southpaws so we could be looking at a lower scoring affair than we may have been expecting, seeing how these two teams are scoring machines. If you are thinking about placing the Over/Under on runs, keep this in mind.
There will be tons of markets for the World Series, so you just have to weed through and find the best odds. Get over to our Odds Comparison page and you can see the odds offered from our top sportsbooks side by side.
If you are looking for some more interesting bets, check out BetOnline’s Player Prop bets, where you can wager on who will hit the first homerun, the MVP, or even if there will be an out recorded by fan interference! Best of luck!
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