The 2018 World Series is making history even before the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers take the field for Game 1 at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
How so? Well, it’s the first time these two franchises have faced one another in a Fall Classic since 1916. The Dodgers weren’t in LA and weren’t the Dodgers yet — they were the Brooklyn Robins — and some guy named Babe Ruth was a pitcher for the Red Sox. And although Los Angeles hasn’t won a title since 1988, both clubs have at least six championships under their respective belts, which is only the third time that’s ever happened.
What really sticks out on the surface, though, is the difference in each squad’s regular season record. Rookie manager Alex Cora steered his team to a 108-54 performance, easily the best in baseball. Meanwhile, Dave Roberts watched as his club finished with a 92-71 mark (which is uber impressive considering they were 10 games under .500 in the middle of May).
If mental math is hard for you (it is for me sometimes), this is a difference of 16 wins. That’s one of the widest gaps among World Series representatives in history, and according to said history, it favors the Red Sox.
(The Cubs did go 108 years without a championship but at least won back-to-back titles in 1907 and 1908 after this particular upset.)
It’s not as if Boston’s road to the World Series was an easy one, either. They’ve posted a collective 3.78 ERA and .745 OPS against a pair of 100-win teams (the New York Yankees and Houston Astros) and have won seven of their nine postseason games. It’s almost like those guys are really good or something.
The Dodgers reached their second consecutive Fall Classic in the only way they know how — by pitching and hitting dingers. Only the Milwaukee Brewers (2.40) had a lower ERA than LA’s 2.79 mark, and their 13 homers as a club have been bested by just the Astros so far (14). And they did that despite not hitting homers in a couple wins during the NLCS.
This year’s World Series has some big shoes to fill after an incredibly exciting seven-game heavyweight bout in 2017, but it sure feels like it has the potential come through in the clutch.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book about how to become a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.