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Red Sox, Dodgers to Face Off in World Series for First Time in More Than a Century

The Boston Red Sox will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night, marking the first time the two storied franchises have faced off for an MLB championship since 1916.

The Boston Red Sox will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the 2018 World Series on Tuesday night. (Image: Elise Amendola, AP)

The Red Sox come into the series off a dominating 4-1 victory over the Houston Astros in the ALCS, while the Dodgers took the full seven games to get past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS.

Dodgers Yet to Announce Game 1 Starter

The World Series promises to feature marquee pitching matchups almost every night, though we dont yet know who will be dueling on Game 1. The Red Sox have already announced that they will be sending Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA) to the mound, but the Dodgers haven’t yet determined if ace Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA) will be ready to go on Tuesday after throwing 15 pitches to close out Game 7 of the NLCS. If Kershaw is unavailable, Rich Hill (11-5, 3.66 ERA) will start the series for Los Angeles instead.

For the Dodgers, this year’s World Series offers a chance for redemption. Last season, Los Angeles made it all the way to Game 7 against the Houston Astros before coming up just short of a championship. Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi says that the experience gained last year should pay off for his team in their second run at a title.

“The crowds, the media attention, everything that goes with being in the World Series, it will all be familiar to us this time in the same way as being on the LCS stage for the first time in ’16 and winning at that stage last year,” Zaidi said during the Dodgers’ postgame celebration after Game 7 of the NLCS. “We played a very worthy opponent last year and the Red Sox are terrific, too. It’s going to be just as tough and we’ll be prepared.”

Roberts Returns to Boston as a Hero

One of the biggest storylines heading into the series is the return of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to Boston, where he will likely get a hero’s welcome even as he leads an opposing team.

Roberts played a critical role in Boston’s 2004 playoff run, stealing a base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS that put him in position to score the tying run. The Red Sox would not only go on to win that game, but three more in a row against the New York Yankees to become the first team ever to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the MLB playoffs. Boston would then defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 in the World Series, winning their first title since 1918.

“He came here. He stole that base,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora – who had been teammates with Roberts on the Dodgers earlier in the 2004 season – told reporters. “I texted him right after he stole second base. I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but if this happens, you’re going to become a hero.’”

The Red Sox are looking to cap off a dominant season in which the team put up a franchise best 108-54 regular season record. Boston comes into the World Series as a slight favorite, with the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posting the Red Sox as a -135 favorite, while the Dodgers can be backed at +115.