2018 World Series Betting - Boston Red Sox vs. LA Dodgers

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D.S. Williamson

October 23rd, 2018

FOX and Major League Baseball are as happy as they can be because two of the most popular teams in the sport battle it out in 2018 World Series betting. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox start the 7-game series quest for the Fall Classic on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Check both teams’ batting lineups and starting rotations along with my World Series prediction!

Let's first look at how we got to this war between two of the most popular teams in all of baseball.

How the Red Sox Won the American League Pennant

After dominating the New York Yankees 3-1 in the AL Divisional Playoffs, Red Sox put a surprising 4-1 beating onto the defending champion Astros in the best-of-7 AL Championship Series.

"Total domination" best describes how Boston handled Houston’s top ranked starting rotation and bullpen. Red Sox batters blasted Astros’ pitchers for 7, 8, 8, and 4 runs in Game 2, 3, 4, and 5. For Boston manager Alex Cora, the bats weren’t even the best part.

Maligned postseason starter David Price provided two winning performances, holding Houston to 4 runs in 4.2 innings in the 7-5 Game 2 win, and sending the Astros to an early vacation with a 6-innings, 3 hits, 0 runs performance in Game 5. Price’s ALCS winning performance put a huge smile on Cora’s face. Whether Price can replicate his ALCS winning performance for the purposes of 2018 World Series betting remains to be seen, but he at least has the proverbial monkey off his back. That's a huge plus for the Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox Starting Rotation
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Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale (L) – 2.11 David Price (L) – 3.58 Rick Porcello (R) – 4.28 Nathan Eovaldi (R) – 3.81 

Boston Red Sox Projected Batting Lineup for 2018 World Series 
  1. RF Mookie Betts .346
  2. LF Andrew Benitendi (L) .290
  3. DH JD Martinez .330
  4. SS Xander Bogaerts .288
  5. 1B Steve Pearce .279
  6. 3B Eduardo Nunez .265
  7. 2B Ian Kinsler .242
  8. C Christian Vasquez .207
  9. CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) .234

How the Dodgers Won the National League Pennant

Manager Dave Roberts used creative decisions with his rotation and bullpen to pull out a Game 7 win and take the NL Championship Series over the Milwaukee Brewers. Roberts kept Walker Buehler on the mound for 4.2 innings. At the first sign of trouble, Roberts pulled Walker. He put Urias on the mound for a single out, Madison on the hill for 1.2 innings, and then used Jansen for 1.1, and Kershaw to close the game.

Roberts knows that to beat the best team in baseball, he has to keep being innovative. Luckily for Dodgers’ fans, he’s already proven he uses his pitchers at the right time, which is perhaps the biggest angle for 2018 World Series betting and those that want to back the dog in this fight.

Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Rotation
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Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw (L) – 2.73 Hyun-Jin Ryu (R) – 1.97 Rich Hill (L) – 3.66 Walker Buehler (R) – 2.62 

Los Angeles Dodgers Projected Batting Lineup
  1. LF Chris Taylor .254
  2. 3B Justin Turner .312
  3. 1B David Freese .385
  4. SS Manny Machado .273
  5. DH Matt Kemp .290
  6. RF Yasiel Puig .267
  7. CF Enrique Hernandez .256
  8. 2B Brian Dozier .182
  9. C Austin Barnes .205

2018 World Series Betting Breakdown

We’ll Know Who Wins the Fall Classic After Game 1

Alex Cora will start Sale in Game 1. If the Dodgers get to Sale early, or if he isn’t 100%, Cora can go with Price, Porcello, or Eovaldi because he hasn’t decided who he’s sending to the mound for Game 3.

Cora’s strategy is to win the first couple of games at Fenway Park. If he can do that, he feels confident either Eovaldi - who’s been lights out during the postseason - or Porcello, can steal a game at Dodger Stadium. He also knows that unless Price reverts to his former postseason form, Price can pitch 2 contests in the 2018 World Series.

Heck, Price started 2 games against the Astros and that series only went 5 games. Cora doesn’t want to revert to Plan B, pulling Sale early. He’d much rather have Chris Sale throwing the best slider in baseball with no difficulties in Game 1, but that's up to the pitcher. It's rare that Sale has bad back-to-back outings.

David Roberts doesn’t have as many options as Alex Cora does because he doesn’t have 2 aces. By starting Kershaw, Roberts hopes to steal Game 1. If he doesn’t steal Game 1, the chances of the Dodgers stealing the 2018 World Series will take a nose dive.

Dodgers list Hyun-Jin Ryu as their Game 2 starter. For the season, Ryu doesn’t pitch nearly as well on the road as he does at Dodger Stadium. He only lasted 3 innings in his last start, a road game versus the Brewers. Looks like Roberts is all in on Kershaw in Game 1, and that's the right call for all the obvious reasons. They need a win in Game 1 because Ryu becomes a nearly untenable option as a road play with their backs to the wall in Game 2.

Roberts’ strategy doesn’t sound right, but it makes sense. Los Angeles must win a game at Fenway at some point during the 2018 World Series betting. Go for the win in Game 1 with your ace and then try to win at home. Start your ace in Game 5 if you can shut the door. Start him in Game 6 or Game 7 depending on how the series goes.

A Game 1 victory for the Dodgers doesn't seal anything for them. Boston has paid for a championship winning roster, and they have one. THis team is capable of winning in any venue, and a three-game stint in sunny SoCal won't faze them.

Boston won 108 games during the regular season. This is the best Red Sox team in history. They dominated the defending champs after losing Game 1 in the ALCS. Red Sox have that team of destiny look, which is why they’ll beat the Los Angeles Dodgers and win the World Series.

2018 World Series Betting Prediction:  Boston Red Sox -165