Embattled National League Champion Dodgers Enter World Series as Heavy Underdogs

The Dodgers defeated the Brewers 5-1 on Saturday night to clinch their second consecutive National League pennant. The boys in blue will open the World Series on Tuesday night at Fenway Park in Boston against the American League champion Red Sox. The first two games will be played at Fenway Park, with games 3-5 scheduled to be played at Dodger Stadium on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. The final two games will be played at Fenway Park.

The Champagne fueled celebration in the visitor’s clubhouse at Miller Park was a glorious sight. The Dodgers are one resilient club. They’re embattled postseason veterans and it took an entire team effort to get this far. The Dodgers overcame many obstacles this season and it’s a testament to the organization’s talented and deep roster. The Dodgers will get another chance to put right what went wrong in last year’s fall classic. Can the Dodgers finally go all the way?

It won’t be easy. The Dodgers come into the World Series as heavy underdogs to the Red Sox, a team that won 108 regular season games. MLB experts pick the Red Sox over the Dodgers in most oddmaker’s scenarios. But the Dodgers are on a mission to make history, and I would not count then out in any fashion.

You can’t really point to any one event that was a contributing factor in the Dodger’s second straight World Series appearance. It was a true team effort. From the incredible pitching of Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw, to the fantastic performance from the Dodger bullpen, the pitching was phenomenal. The game saving catch from Chris Taylor in game 7 and of course the superman like diving catch from NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger in game 4. Speaking of Bellinger, we can’t forget his walk-off hit in game 4, and his two-run home run in game 7. There was Yasiel Puig’s three-run jack that put game 7 on ice, and Justin Turner’s game winning two-run home run in game 2. Those were all the moments that mattered. There were many more, but there were too many to mention. While we wait for the World Series to begin, check out the National League championship presentation and some early pics from Fenway Park below.

The Dodgers have announced that Clayton Kershaw will pitch game 1, Hyun-jin Ryu will start game 2, and Walker Buehler will start game 3 at Dodger Stadium. Game 4 will likely be started by Rich Hill. The Red Sox have announced southpaw Chris Sale will open the series for game 1. He’s coming off a recent hospital stay after suffering an illness, so he may not be 100%.

The Dodgers last won the World Series thirty years ago. Those memories are recanted and honored every year. But those memories were a lifetime ago. I think we’re all sick of having to talk about 1988. We want to talk about the 2018 Dodgers. We want the 2018 Dodgers to be remembered thirty years from now. We want knew memories. The only way that happens is if the 2018 Dodgers win four more games. That’s all we need, just four more wins. Please Dodgers, do it this time. There’s an entire generation of Dodger fans that have never seen the Dodgers win a World Series. It’s time to change that. The battle begins tomorrow evening.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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14 thoughts on “Embattled National League Champion Dodgers Enter World Series as Heavy Underdogs

  1. Hi Scott,

    Do you know what thresh-hold constitutes a ‘heavy underdog’? I’m not sure if the Dodgers qualify for that title. On a $100 bet on Boston, one would win $71.43 with current book which fluctuates slightly.

    I’m of the opinion that starting Kershaw could backfire on the team. If he loses, it will take a toll on the morale of both team and pitcher and put more pressure on them to win the next game. Kershaw is also a very well ‘known quantity’ in MLB. Certainly, he’s a top pitcher, but not at the top of his game. When you have capable pitchers like Ryu and Hill with lots of experience, they can throw a wrench into the strategy of our opposing teams. I see Kershaw starting as a knee-jerk decision because we’ve always done it this way. I like the element of surprise and switching things up. Of course, I want whoever pitches to win but throwing Kershaw out there is too predictable and maybe not the best strategy to pursue. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

  2. We will in all likelihood lose one if not both games at Fenway Park. If Kershaw blows Game 1, the narrative is everyone expected the Red Sox to be favored and they were fully rested. But if we lose Game 1 with Ryu on short rest, and then has to rely on Kershaw not to blow Game 2 in a “must win”? I am not sure that is a better deal for Kershaw, who is known to stress himself out. Ryu for Game 2 is interesting anyways – it will be interesting to see if he rebounds from the Game 6 disaster.

    I am not deluding myself that the Dodgers are somehow evenly matched. All the stats and tangibles in every category that matters favors the Red Sox. It’s going to come down to experience and intangibles, things that stats cannot account for.

    But the intangibles must ultimately lead to tangible results for it to matter.

    Anyways we need to win two in LA for us to have any chance, hopefully all 3.

    One thing I know we need is a catcher who can block pitches in the dirt. We can’t just try to throw strikes past people – these guys are too good. We have to pitch around guys and get them to chase pitches in the dirt. I think Grandal is complete dead weight at this point.

  3. Scott,

    Dodgers are the heavy underdogs, but this is doable. They control their on destiny.

    Starting pitching has a slight edge, I think, and Dodger bullpen has been fantastic. With Barnes possibly handling things behind the dish, I believe they will be in good hands, literally.

    The key will be the offense. If they can carry over their success they had in Game 7 of NLCS, they can hit hard and fast in the early innings. They must limit non-productive outs, GIDP’s, and KO’s, and limit stranding RISP. They proved they can do it, they just cannot afford to trip over their on feet. Offensive consistancy is the utmost.

    JT and Muncy are overdue for a “Gamechanger” performance at the plate. I think we are in a good spot, with regards to DH. Kemp or Freese should fair well in that spot.

    I predict Dodgers in six, but if they can grab two in Boston, I think they can do it in five, and take the crown at home, where it belongs.

    Go Blue. Set the tone of this series right now, in game 1

  4. This is my time to eat crow. I honestly believed that they did not have a championship caliber team. Especially after Corey Seager went down. But the front office went out and got Machado, and picked up a couple of nice pieces, Freese, Madson, along the way. So congratulations to all of them. The task is not finished and it will not be easy, but at least they are in the game. Only change on the World Series roster is Alexander replacing Ferguson. According to the position by position analysis by MLB.com, the Dodgers have better players at catcher, 1st base, shortstop, third base and centerfield, plus a better bullpen and starting staff. They are picking the Dodgers in 6. So I am not sure where the heavy underdog status comes from, but that’s just MLB.com. Most everywhere else are picking the Sox. And that is understandable because they won 108 games. It will be an interesting series that’s for sure. It is supposed to be cold and possible wet at Fenway tonight, so lets see how the Dodgers react to really cold weather. They do head into the series with 2 key players in deep funks. Muncy and Hernandez had terrible NLCS series. 18 strikeouts between them. Those guys need to be better.

  5. Did Package disappear? I very seldom take a look in here, so I may have missed him.

    Come to think of it, did everyone disappear besides Michael and YF?

      1. Always the A**hole, you just can’t help yourself Felony Brutus. Go back and stay at Pedro Phile’s site, I think that would be a good home for you.

  6. A big part of the story is Kershaw. A lot of the Dodgers chances to win depend on which Kershaw we get in game 1. Do we get the 7 inning throw strikes and pound the zone guy, or is it the other version where his pitches are hanging and getting tattooed. I think Kersh is really going to be pumped for this game, and with Kersh, that is not always a good thing. If he can dial it back and keep an even keel, he will be a much better starter. The boys on the offensive side have a real test. Sale is rested, and is one of the best in the game. A real strikeout machine against a team that strikes out a lot. The longer Kershaw can go, the better the chances of a win. I think with the layoff he has had, and the illness that put him in the hospital for a couple of days might have some effect on Sale. Getting into the iffy Sox pen will be a good thing. They do not match up well except at closer where they have Kimbrel. Should be a tight and exciting series…key will be controlling the bat of JD Martinez, who loves to hit at Dodger Stadium.

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