Red Sox quick hit thoughts on the day before the World Series

Contributing Writer

Red Sox sail into World Series, set for ace Sale's return
Photo Courtesy of AP Photo/David J. Phillip
The Red Sox have been playing baseball since 1901. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been playing baseball since 1884. The two clubs have met once in the postseason, dating all the way back to 1916 and are now ready to meet again in the 2018 World Series.

As the Fall Classic kicks off Tuesday night, in what should be a prolific matchup of Chris Sale versus Clayton Kershaw, here are some quick hit thoughts about what could be one of the best World Series in recent years:

-      The entire World Series schedule is as follows:
Game 1 - Tuesday @ BOS 8:09 pm 
Game 2 - Wednesday @ BOS 8:09 
Game 3 - Friday @ LA 8:09 
Game 4 - Saturday @ LA 8:09 
*Game 5 - Sunday 10/28 @ LA 8:15 
*Game 6 - Tuesday 10/30 @ BOS 8:09 
*Game 7 - Wednesday 10/31 @ BOS 8:09

*If necessary

-      We will see if travel time or time zones play a difference in this series. Boston and Los Angeles are over 2,900 miles apart, and have a three-hour time difference.

-      The Red Sox opened as a slight favorite according to Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. Boston opened as minus-135 favorites in early betting, with the Dodgers set as plus-115 to win the series. That means a $135 bet on the Red Sox will pay $100, while a $100 bet on the Dodgers pays $115.

-       Clayton Kershaw threw 15 pitches in Game 7 of the NLCS, but is still on track to start Game 1. Rich Hill will start if he cannot go.

-      As more and more information comes out, it looks like we’ll be seeing Mookie Betts at second base during this series. The topic was discussed the other day, and since, Alex Cora has mentioned that it is a possibility. Mookie has since been seen taking grounders there and working with Dustin Pedroia during the Red Sox past two practices.

-      Cora also mentioned that J.D. Martinez will play every game of the World Series. Martinez who appeared to be struggling at times of the ALCS, including a 1-13 stretch, seemed much more comfortable in Game 5, where he recorded a home run, single and a walk.

-      As J.D. will play every game, it most likely means the Red Sox will have to eventually split up their top outfield of Betts, Benintendi and Bradley. Take a look at the season splits based on the outfield starters:

o  Betts, Benintendi and Bradley start together in outfield: 72-26 (.735)
o  The rest: 43-30 (.589)

-      More stats: the Red Sox are the 11th team to reach the World Series with at least 108 regular season wins. Out of the previous 10, eight of them went on to win the World Series.

-      The Dodgers rotation features three left handed starters in Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and either Alex Wood or Rich Hill. So far this postseason, the Red Sox are 3-0 against left handed starters (J. Happ, C.C. Sabathia, D. Kuechel), plating 10 runs in 10 innings.

-      The Red Sox saw an advantage against the Astros in the ALCS, having Alex Cora (last year’s Astros bench coach) and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson, who worked with Houston in the same role last season. This series, the Red Sox hitting coach, Tim Hyers, worked with the Dodgers last season as the assistant hitting coach. Hyers will be a vital resource for the Red Sox pitchers in learning the Dodgers' hitters' tendencies at the plate.

-      Steven Wright threw a simulated game and went through fielding drills Sunday afternoon. Alex Cora said they’ll see how he feels Monday, but could be a candidate for the World Series roster. If he does make the roster, hopefully he won’t be used as a pinch-runner at Dodger Stadium like he was in the past…

-      One of the Red Sox best off the field stories, which includes groundskeeper Dave Mellor and his service dog Drago, kept growing Sunday. Rick Porcello adopted one of Drago’s puppies and was out of the field Sunday with his new dog and Drago.

-      Ian Kinsler adopted one of the other puppies. The entire story is worth watching, and can be seen here:

-     Speaking of Kinsler. He shared he might get a nipple ring if the Red Sox win the World Series, in honor of Chris Sale’s “belly-button ring”.

-      The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the ALDS, who hit the most home runs in one season in MLB history. The Dodgers ranked second to New York, with 235 homers. They were led by Max Muncy with 35, while having 10 players reach double digits and seven hit 20.

-      Alex Cora was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996 and made his debut for them two years later. He spent nine season there and describes them as a “special organization for me and my family.” Dodgers current manager Dave Roberts was teammates with Cora for two-and-a-half seasons, before being traded to the Boston Red Sox. As many know, Roberts then helped Boston win the 2004 American League Pennant with his famous steal in Game 4.

Prediction: Red Sox in 5. Let's do some damage.

We now must wait until 8:09 pm on Tuesday, where we'll see if the Red Sox can finish off the best season in their team's history, and record their second World Series title since 2013. Make sure to follow along @RedSoxLife and @iambrianhines along the way.